Garden centre chain Dobbies unveiled a first for the company last week when it launched a Gridserve charging area for electric vehicles at its Swindon store.
The so-called “electric retail hub”, which allows drivers to charge up their electric vehicles, is the first of more than ten sites planned for Dobbies car parks around the UK. The two companies originally announced the Gridserve charging areas would be rolled out throughout 2022, but they are now confident of rolling out these services a year on.
Dobbies Swindon has five dual charging units, which allow two cars to charge at once at medium power speeds. There are also two high power chargers which can provide a quick top-up for those travelling on the nearby A419.
In total, there are 12 charging bays – including two accessible bays to support both larger vehicles and disabled customers.
The Gridserve charging area at Dobbies Swindon features CCS and CHAdeMO connectors as well as AC sockets, and it accepts contactless payment and provides real-time status updates to multiple EV charging maps. Gridserve said the chargers are powered by 100% net zero carbon energy.
Graeme Jenkins, CEO at Dobbies, commented: “We know that our customers care about sustainability and more UK drivers are switching to electric vehicles.
“We’re really pleased that we’re providing customers, commuters, tourists and local Swindon residents, with easy access to affordable and fast EV charging. This partnership with Gridserve demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing our customers environmentally-friendly solutions, and contributes to our ‘Sustainable Dobbies’ journey.”
He added: “We are very proud to be the first garden centre retailer to work with this forward-thinking company and look forward to welcoming electric vehicle drivers as we roll out this service throughout 2023.”
Commenting on the Swindon installation, Toddington Harper, CEO of Gridserve, said: “This is a great location that is well positioned to support those charging whilst using the garden centre, as well as those passing on the nearby A419, which links Cirencester and Swindon to the M4.
“This type of convenient local charging is the key to widespread adoption of electric vehicles and we’re so pleased to work with Dobbies here. We’re looking forward to delivering many more locations, both with Dobbies and across the UK’s major road network in 2023.”
Gridserve also runs what it describes as “electric super hubs” at motorway service areas across the UK, as well as dedicated “electric forecourts” in Norwich and Braintree. A third electric forecourt is due to open at Gatwick Airport in 2023.
[Image credit: Gridserve]