Hitachi Capital announced a £10m investment in Gridserve’s parent company, Gridserve Sustainable Energy Ltd. The firms say this is to strengthen their partnership following the successful launch of the UK’s first ultra-fast Electric Forecourt.
It is also not the first investment of Hitachi’s funding arm. The company has funded over £24m in Gridserve projects throughout 2020, including funding to help deliver the completion of the Braintree Electric Forecourt. The site is the first of over 100 large charging parks that Gridserve wants to install over the next five years.
Hitachi Capital UK’s partnership with Gridserve also encompasses an electric vehicle leasing business in the UK. Details were scarce, so we requested more information. The company told us that Hitachi Capital UK and Gridserve were currently offering EVs from Audi, BMW, DS, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Mini, Nissan, Renault Volkswagen, and plan to offer a wider range in the future.
“Net zero-carbon energy is included in monthly leasing payments, meaning drivers can charge at Electric Forecourts without paying any additional costs,” the spokesperson added.
Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, added they wanted “to become a market leader for EV adoption”. The strategy also includes a commitment that 20% of Hitachi’s assets would support sustainable business projects over the next five years, the executive added.
With this latest investment, Hitachi Capital now holds 19.63% of shares in Gridserve’s parent company, as a spokesperson informed electrive.
For Gridserve, having Hitachi on board was a “landmark moment” according to their CEO Toddington Harper.
As reported, each of the 100 planned Electric Forecourts shall include up to 24 ultra-fast charging bays. Buffer batteries enable maximum charging requirements simultaneously. The promoters go as far as to say, a charge column will eventually be capable of handling 500 kW high power charging capacity, as well as options for buses, trucks and other commercial vehicles, aside from the varieties of electrified passenger vehicles available on the market.
The charging sites receive energy from nearby solar farms. In the case of Braintree, Clayhill Solar Farm provides electricity. Gridserve claims to have added more than a gigawatt of solar energy and energy storage solutions, including connecting over 100 utility-scale sustainable energy projects to the UK grid.
Hitachi Capital PLC (UK) is part of Hitachi Capital Corporation, one of Japan’s largest non-bank financial institutions.