It’s Tuesday, December 8, and the U.K. has taken a big step in its transition to electric vehicles.

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On Monday, Britain opened an electric-only car-charging station powered exclusively with renewable energy. The service station is the first of 100 stations in the U.K. planned under a $1.3 billion project by the sustainable energy company Gridserve.

Located in Essex in southeast England, the new station includes 36 rapid chargers powered by a network of hybrid solar farms, plus some solar panels and a battery on site. It’s another sign that the U.K.’s energy and transport industries are gearing up for the 2030 ban on new gas-powered cars that Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last month.

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In the wake of Johnson’s announcement, sales of battery-powered electric vehicles in the U.K. increased 122 percent last month compared to a year ago, and sales of hybrids were up 77 percent. One recent estimate suggested that as many as 36 million electric vehicles could be on British roads by 2040.

Gridserve has updated “the traditional petrol station model for a net-zero carbon world and is delivering the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today — a full decade ahead of the 2030 ban,” said Toddington Harper, the company’s founder and chief executive officer, in a statement.

Cameron Oglesby

 

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Emily Pontecorvo