We have always been very proud of our status as a Microsoft Gold Partner, but we are particularly excited this month, because Microsoft are the ‘power’ behind the UK’s first electric car charging forecourt, which has just opened to the public.

The entire facility is supported by Microsoft technology.  It utilises the Azure cloud platform and Microsoft 365, including Teams across all of their departments:

Field service

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • HR
  • Customer service

One of the most interesting aspects is that they use Azure and Dynamics 365 to securely store and analyse data, including how much energy the Essex based, Electric Forecourt is using.

Of course, the Electric Forecourt is all about the energy.  It is fascinating stuff.  All the energy for the site is sourced from a net zero carbon energy solar farm 44 miles away, there are also solar panels on the canopy above the chargers.  The 40 MWp solar farm can produce enough energy to drive 5,000 electric cars for a year.

One of our favourite aspects of the site though is the fact that you can generate electricity for the site’s batteries while you wait for your car to be charged – there is a fitness area inside the facility with exercise bikes that generate electricity!  Or you can just grab a coffee or a bite to eat if you prefer.

The timing of the opening of the forecourt couldn’t be better, as it virtually coincided with the Prime Minister’s announcement that there will be a ban on the sale of diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2030.

The Braintree site enables 36 electric vehicles to be charged at full power at the same time.

Toddington Harper, Chief Executive of GRIDSERVE, the company behind the Electric Forecourt said that the Braintree site was one the first of 100 to be built across the UK.  This is very exciting news for electric vehicle owners and for those considering an electric vehicle.  To date the infrastructure, coupled with low range, has been one of the biggest reasons for their lack of market penetration.  Making charging accessible across the country brings a greener future one step closer.

“Microsoft has made significant investments in sustainability over the past decade, and our customers are also reducing their carbon footprint by switching to Azure.  By using Dynamics 365, Gridserve will be able to manage their sales, marketing and service functions to support the Braintree forecourt and gain valuable insight into their operations to make them even more efficient and greener. I am proud that Gridserve has chosen Microsoft to help them on their business journey.”  Marie Abery, Microsoft Dynamics Business Group Director.

SCS Technology Solutions are proud to be a Microsoft Gold Partner.