EU-FUNDED FAST-CHARGE NETWORK OPENS UP PAN-EUROPEAN TRAVEL
• Pioneering four-territory European fast charging network is complete
• 429 fast chargers installed across 10 countries in four complimentary projects
• Programme is funded by EU and four leading EV manufacturers
• The multi-standard chargers provide an 80% charge within 30 minutes to enable long-distance cross-border electric vehicle journeys
The growing market for electric vehicles (EVs) is set to receive a boost thanks to the completion this month of four projects enabling a network of 429 multi-standard fast-charging points across 10 European countries. The initiative will help drive demand for and use of EVs, as well as facilitate longer-distance zero-emissions travel.
Co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T (Trans European Transport Network) programme and four major EV manufacturers – BMW, Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen – and leading energy companies (EDF, E.ON, ESB and Verbund), the 26.3m euro investment has been implemented in four areas:
The 429 fast chargers are the latest, state-of-the-art multi-standard units, compatible with EVs using CCS, CHAdeMO, or AC systems. Each installation is capable of charging all mass-produced electric vehicle’s battery from as little as 20 minutes. The network covers over 10,540 km of Europe’s major highways.
The innovative programme of EV infrastructure roll-out is the largest of its kind to be backed by a consortium combining the European Union, vehicle manufacturers, energy utilities, national Governments, e-mobility operators, and academic organisations. It will help accelerate the growth of EV charging infrastructures, widely recognised as crucial for driving the awareness and use of electric vehicles. Initial results from studies undertaken across the four projects reveals that the development of the fast-charge networks increases the confidence of consumers to buy EVs and encourages EV drivers to undertake longer journeys.
Dirk Beckers, Executive Director of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), the body overseeing the implementation of the projects, noted: “Ensuring the market deployment of efficient and sustainable transport solutions whilst creating synergy with the energy supply network and supporting the use of alternative fuels is a clear priority for the European Commission and INEA is here to support the implementation of this policy. TEN-T and CEF funding have already financed 14 projects supporting electromobility. In real terms this means 1,000 fast or semi-fast charging points for a bit less than €100 million of total investment and €50 million of EU support. Our plan is to continue with this trend and encourage all interested stakeholders to submit their transport greening and innovation proposals in the CEF call which is currently open.”
The European Union has targeted a 60 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions from transport by 2050. The electrification of passenger vehicle transport is a crucial part of the strategy for achieving that goal, as well as reducing oil dependency and improving air quality in urban areas.
Mr. Henrik Hololei, Director General of DG Move, said: “Transport decarbonisation is an important goal of the EU 2020 strategy. The four successful pilot projects demonstrate how joint efforts of the industry and the public sector can increase uptake of electric vehicles in Europe. We are only at the beginning of a new era of transportation, and plan to further support the shift to alternative fuels and the required charging infrastructure”
Working closely together, the project partners are realising innovative solutions to the cross-border implementation of new technologies and services. Making these solutions available to public and private network providers going forward will encourage greater development of further fast charge networks within and beyond the geographical scope of the four projects in this phase of the EU’s TEN-T programme.
Olivier Paturet, Nissan and Project Coordinator for the TEN-T RCN Project, said: “There’s a clear correlation between the availability of the charging network, the perceived range achievable in EVs and the uptake of EVs by consumers. This forward-thinking pan-European programme has brought together key stakeholders to advance the charging infrastructure side of the equation.
“These important incremental steps are vital in maintaining the momentum of growth that is becoming apparent in EV sales and usage. The next step is to build on this growth, supporting the development of further networks across more countries and preparing for the next generation of higher charging capacity. Continuous investment from both private and public partners is therefore essential in further accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles in Europe and support advancement towards the EU’s environmental goals.”
The behaviours and opinions of EV users has been studied by academic and market research institutions in each project. The aim is to confirm the benefits of advanced interoperable EV fast charging networks in consumer adoption of EVs. Strategic information gathered from users, including customer charging behaviour and changes in mobility patterns, will help plan the roll-out future of rapid charging infrastructures in member states across Europe.
A closing of event presenting the projects’ results, recommendations to stakeholders and future outlook took place on 1st December 2015 in Brussels, with participation of the project partners, senior executive of the European Commission (DG Mobility and Transport), the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The Rapid Charge Network is supported by major industry partners, including: