Ecotricity sells off its electric car charging network

Stroud-based Ecotricity has unplugged itself from its Electric Highway, confirming the sale of what it calls ‘the world's first national charging network for electric cars’, to a rival business.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
An Electric Highway charging point in action. Now the property of GRIDSERVE.
An Electric Highway charging point in action. Now the property of GRIDSERVE.

Stroud-based Ecotricity has confirmed the sale of its Electric Highway, what it calls ‘the world’s first national charging network for electric cars’, to GRIDSERVE.

The value of the deal has not been revealed, but Ecotricity said the proceeds would help it ‘pursue other avenues’ – like developing Britain’s first ‘green gas mill’ which will make ‘natural gas’ for the grid from grass.

It could also be a weight off the shoulders of the Stroud-headquartered green electricity firm, which saw turnover grow last year by 15 per cent to £222.3 million, but has seen its once-championed highway criticised for a lack of investment.

A survey by Auto Express placed it tenth out of 10 in all four of its categories – including charging cost, charging speed, ease of use and reliability.

Whatever the critics said, the Electric Highway – established in 2011 – was widely credited with playing a pivotal role in kickstarting the country’s electric car revolution, enabling early adopters to drive the length and breadth of Great Britain.

Dale Vince OBE, founder of Ecotricity, which employs and estimated 700 staff, said: ‘The Electric Highway needs a growth spurt to make sure it stays ahead of driver demand and continues to play its key role as the network that delivers more miles a year for UK drivers than any other.

‘For this it needs an owner with access to serious funding and real commitment to the cause.’

Toddington Harper, chief executive officer of Buckinghamshire-based GRIDSERVE, said: ‘Our purpose is to deliver sustainable energy and move the needle on climate change.

‘The upgraded network will provide for millions more to make the successful transition to electric vehicles in the earliest possible timeframes.’

By Andrew Merrell

Follow SoGlos on LinkedIn and sign-up to the weekly SoGlos business newsletter for the very latest Gloucestershire business news stories.

More on Ecotricity

More from Business