EV Forecourts: Powering up the UK’s charging infrastructure

Creating EV charging destinations across the UK

Robert Birch of Godwin Developments explores the growing need for dedicated EV Charging Forecourts nationwide to bolster the national charging infrastructure – and why they present a new income generating opportunity for landowners and property professionals.

The UK is on a journey to a greener future. The rising popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) is a testament that attitudes among drivers are changing – with uptake over the past year signalling a decisive shift in demand. More than 190,000 new battery-powered cars took to UK roads in 2021, representing around 11% of new car registrations. More importantly even, of those who switched, a staggering 90% are extremely happy and wouldn’t want to go back to petrol or diesel.

This is obviously welcome news for the automotive industry – over the last few years it has worked hard to deliver new models and extend ranges. As the new technology becomes mainstream, new opportunities have arisen for many sectors. This includes property, which now has an important role to play in supporting the transition to greener travel.

Much has already been written about ‘range anxiety’ which is rooted in the lack in available and fast charging infrastructure across the nation. It is clear that without the provision of many more EV charging points, the continued adoption of electric vehicles may be delayed, or even stall.

This opportunity has prompted new and established operators to come up with a solution – the EV Charging Forecourt. Designed to provide rapid charging capacity, it is quickly becoming an asset class of its own, sought after by investors and operators – and attracting the attention of the property industry and landowners alike.

Let’s take a look at what EV Charging Forecourts are and consider how real estate professionals can play a key role in growing the national charging capacity.

What is an EV Charging Forecourt?

An EV Charging Forecourt is a purpose-built destination dedicated to the charging of electric vehicles. Comprising six or more charging points to fit all electric car makes, it provides drivers with access to easy-to-operate rapid charging hardware that can deliver enough power for 100 miles in just 10 minutes.

In addition, EV Charging Forecourts include a wide range of other amenities like a traditional service or petrol station, such as food-to-go, coffee, grocery and retail outlets. They can also support outdoor and indoor recreational and business meeting facilities. These attract extra visits from drivers of all vehicles who are drawn to the wider provision of goods and services compared to a traditional forecourt.

What locations are best suited for an EV Charging Forecourt?

EV Charging Forecourts can be built in urban, suburban or out-of-town locations on sites of an acre or more. Visibility from the road and accessibility is key to delivering a successful destination. For this reason, parcels of land alongside major and local arterial roads, and those next to busy roundabouts, are preferred by all operators. In addition to traffic, they also seek locations with a good catchment profile – and the land itself could be brownfield or greenfield, with or without existing property or planning permissions.

Today, there are just 29,000 charging points in the UK to service more than one million EVs and plug-in hybrids. Around 45% of these are located in London and the South East, with regions like the South West, West Midlands and East of England each claiming just 6-7% of charging points. The need to build more EV charging stations that will supercharge capacity is urgent – and the solutions are already available and ready to be delivered nationwide.

Landowners: an opportunity to be seized

For landowners looking to sell their land or maximise long-term returns from it, the rollout of EV Charging Forecourts is an opportunity not to be missed. With established and new operators seeking to grow their footprint nationwide, there is always great interest where good sites for sale are concerned. Where freeholders would prefer to retain ownership of their property, there are also viable opportunities to negotiate long-term leases with well-funded and established operators with secure covenants.

Regardless of the chosen option, landowners can be assured that their land will play an important part in a more sustainable future, supporting the transition of the UK to more environmentally friendly forms of travel.

We are currently seeking opportunities from owners of land, property consultants, businesses with land portfolios and all other contacts that are interested in exploring the option of developing an EV Charging Forecourt on their property. The schemes developed by Godwin Developments are usually installed, managed and maintained by leading charging specialists, backed by credible financial institutions and years of technical experience.

If you have land which could be suitable for this type of development, contact hello@godwindevelopments.co.uk with the details. Alternatively, visit www.godwingroup.co.uk/ev-charging-forecourts for more details of our land requirements and find out how your land could be key to growing the UK’s charging infrastructure.