Our role in the Electric Forecourt® story

At Quadrant we’re committed to genuinely sustainable products and initiatives that have a positive impact on the planet’s future. So we’re beyond excited to see our cork flooring in action at the UK’s first Electric Forecourt®.

Built by GRIDSERVE, the Electric Forecourt® near Braintree in Essex is powered by net zero carbon energy and allows 36 electric vehicles (EVs) to be charged at any one time. In addition to the charging points there is a high-end waiting lounge with retail space, wellbeing area, family zone and business pods, all designed to meet the needs of the modern driver.

As GRIDSERVE’s Founder and CEO Toddington Harper explains, “Charging has to be simple and free of anxiety, which is why we’ve designed our Electric Forecourts® entirely around the needs of drivers, updating the traditional petrol station model for a net-zero carbon world and delivering the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today.”

With over 100 such facilities planned for the next five years, this infrastructure will help address consumer concerns around the practicalities of EV charging. It will drive EV adoption ahead of the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars that is due to come into force in 2030, and will help the UK government reach its ambitious target to cut emissions 78% by 2035 compared with 1990s levels.        

Clean energy for vehicle charging   

Perhaps the most obvious sustainable feature of the Electric Forecourt® is its reliance on clean energy, and specifically solar power. Large solar canopies above the forecourt generate some of the electricity for vehicle charging, and this is supplemented by 100% renewable energy from the Clay Hill solar farm in Bedfordshire, all forming part of GRIDSERVE’s sun-to-wheel infrastructure. Advanced on-site battery storage helps balance the local grid and shift energy to periods when it is most valuable, all while keeping costs low.    

Corkform flooring at Gridserve Braintree

But on closer inspection, there are a variety of other products and processes that contribute to the environmental credentials of the ground-breaking site. These include moss walls that absorb carbon dioxide and improve indoor air quality, and exercise bikes in the wellness zone that generate electricity to feed back into the forecourt. There are interactive screens to help visitors learn about transitioning to an all-electric future, as well as current EV models to investigate on the upper floor.  

Cork floors for practical sustainability

And of course, there is Corkform flooring from Quadrant’s Climate+ Collection, which is a sustainable and responsible choice for this innovative facility. Cork itself is a completely natural, renewable and recyclable raw material, with the cork oak forest retaining five times more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than other types of tree. What’s more, our cork flooring is produced within a circular economy model that upcycles waste and used corks from the bottle stopper industry, so products from the Climate+ Collection have a negative carbon balance overall.

Corkform flooring with a graphic overlay at Gridserve Braintree

In addition to being a revolutionary ecological solution, our Corkform flooring is a practical choice for the forecourt. It has exceptional elasticity and shock absorbing performance, resulting in superior wear and mechanical resistance. It has natural thermal and acoustic insulation properties due to cork’s honeycomb structure, meaning it assists temperature control and sound absorption. Ultra low VOC emissions help to maintain air quality, while water resistance makes flooring quick and simple to clean.

All these properties make our cork floor the ideal choice for both the forecourt’s wellness space and its family zone. The Corkform colour in these areas is ‘Grain Parchment’ and the flooring in the dedicated children’s area is printed with fun graphics to bring the ethos of the facility to life. 

Corkform isn’t the only Quadrant flooring product showcased at the Electric Forecourt®. Visitors can also find one of our luxurious, velvety high lustre Frizzle rugs in the forecourt’s G Lounge. Part of our Runic Collection, the non-slip Frizzle rug has an ingenious lamBAC backing that allows it to be cut to any shape and size without needing to bind or seal the edges.

Corkform flooring and Frizzle carpet at Gridserve Braintree

Accelerating the EV journey

The Electric Forecourts® aren’t the only way GRIDSERVE is encouraging drivers to start their own EV journey. In partnership with Hitachi Capital, the company has also launched a net zero vehicle leasing business to minimise the cost and environmental impact of EVs. Charging at Electric Forecourt® locations is included in the monthly lease costs, and 100 trees are planted for every car leased to offset manufacturing and supply chain emissions associated with vehicle production. The scheme will include EV models from a variety of manufacturers including Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Peugeot, MG, Renault, Nissan, Vauxhall, Mini, Volkswagen and Tesla.      

At Quadrant we aim to be at the forefront of positive change, and we’re always looking to work with progressive companies that build their businesses around truly sustainable practices. Please do contact us to find out more about our sustainability story or for more information on the environmental credentials of our innovative commercial flooring products. 

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