With greater numbers of EVs on the road, more charging is needed, benefitting Gridserve and hundreds of thousands of other electric vehicle drivers.
One common theme for those who drive an electric vehicle is that they are instantly hooked. The response, refinement, quiet drive, and efficiency all lure drivers into plug-in cars, mainly by having been driven in them or getting behind the wheel themselves.
EV test drives
Put bums on seats and sales will increase, which is why Gridserve’s EV leasing arm has launched a test drive programme. Based out of its first Electric Forecourt in Braintree, Essex, there are a range of electric cars available for interested drivers to book in and test on the road.
The programme will quickly expand to Norwich’s Electric Forecourt, the second all-encompassing facility Gridserve has built, though with many more hubs planned, it can be expected that easier access to test drives for those not in East Anglia or nearby will be coming along.
Booking is a simple process, with an online form available to book the car that you are interested in, with dates and times clearly shown. Put in a few details including driving licence information for checks, and you can sort yourself out with a test drive in something new and electric.
Available on the press day attended were a selection models, each some of the most popular models enquired about so far. These comprised the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, Mercedes-Benz EQB, and Polestar 2.
I was able to give each a drive on the day, giving a good indication as to what the models are like over a variety of roads. There was also the chance to find out other practical elements, like investigating how much boot space there is, or rear occupant knee room - the usual test drive experience.
However, because the drives are based out of Gridserve’s Electric Highway, there is also the chance to try out charging the EV, something that would rarely be possible normally. By experiencing the process, and seeing first hand how quickly some EVs will charge off certain points, it can really bring home the EV ownership experience to prospective customers.
Although there are currently a choice of around half a dozen models to book to test, the fleet will gradually grow over time to add further cars. Equally, for those looking at leasing an EV from Gridserve, just about every EV is available to pick through the dedicated leasing platform.
We tested the following models:
Tesla Model 3
The hugely-popular electric car is the UK's best-selling EV. With a long range, high performance, and a spacious interior, the all-electric saloon is now a familiar sight on our roads.
Gridserve's leasing deal on the Tesla Model 3 Long Range tested is available here.
Tesla Model Y
Largely based on the Model 3, Tesla's Model Y is a little larger and more spacious inside. A more comfortable ride and taller seating position thanks to the SUV set-up means the Model Y will surely become as popular as the Model 3 - if not more so.
Gridserve's leasing deal on the Tesla Model Y Long Range tested is available here.
The Mercedes-Benz EQB is a compact, family-sized SUV with seating for up to seven and a good driving range available. Alongside fast charging speeds, the practical EV is seeing sales pick-up quickly.
Gridserve's leasing deal on the Mercedes-Benz EQB 300 tested is available here.
Stylish, premium, and fast, the Polestar 2 is a rival for the likes of Tesla and BMW. Distinctly Scandinavian in design, the Polestar 2 has a long range, ultra-rapid charging speeds, and is a practical crossover.
Gridserve's leasing deal for the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor tested is available here.
All leasing customers get 1,000 free miles's worth of charging at Gridserve sites included within the cost of their contract. This is aimed to help get drivers going and exploring longer distances in their new electric car.
There are a variety of Gridserve units installed across the UK, with sites, hubs, and Electric Forecourts all available. Prices will vary slightly depending on the type of charger used, but all pricing is clearly displayed. Access is possible using a contactless bank card for easy ad hoc use.
Gridserve charging prices, correct at the time of publication, are:
Standalone AC Chargers
up to 22kW
up to 90kW DC
up to 350kW DC
Up to 22kW
Medium Power Chargers
Up to 60kW
High Power Chargers
Up to 350kW