Europe can now be explored by electric car


EU-financed network of quick charging stations grants electric cars mobility all over Europe

In December 2015, four EU-financed projects will be completed that have established a network of 429 multi-standard quick charging stations in 10 European countries. Through these measures, the European e-mobility market will experience a marked boost. The following milestones were reached towards dealing with long distances in a climate-friendly way:

• Pilot network completed in four European project regions
• 429 quick charging stations installed in the framework of four projects in 10 countries
• Programme funded by the EU and four leading e-car manufacturers
• Multistandard charging stations provide 80% charge within 20-30 minutes and allow e-cars to deal with long distances

Jointly financed by the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-V) of the European Union and four important manufacturers of e-cars - BMW, Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen - as well as leading energy companies (EDF, E.ON, ESB and Verbund), 26.3 MM euros were invested in four regions:

• United Kingdom and Ireland (Rapid Charge Network)
• Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bavaria, Zagreb (Central European Green Corridors)
• France (Corri-Door)
• Denmark and Sweden (Greening-NEAR)

The 429 quick charging stations represent the newest multi-standard developments for e-cars with CCS, CHAdeMO and Type 2 plugs. Each station is able to charge all commercially available e-car batteries in only 20 minutes. The network covers over 10,540 km of the most important European highways.

This innovative programme for e-car infrastructure is the most extensive of its kind and is borne by a consortium in which the European Union, automobile manufacturers, energy companies, national governments, e-mobility operators and academic partners take part. It contributes to accelerating the growth of e-car charging infrastructure, thus also heightening acceptance among users. Early results from studies carried out in the context of the four projects show that the development of quick charging networks heightens the trust of consumers in e-cars and encourages drivers to undertake longer distances.

Dirk Beckers, Managing Director of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and supervisor of the projects' implementation, said on the subject: "It is a clear priority of the European Commission to ensure efficient and sustainable transport solutions and thus create synergies with energy suppliers and with the use of alternative fuels. Our task lies in supporting the realisation of these targets. TEN-V and CEF funding has already financed 14 projects relating to electromobility. This means that 1,000 quick and semi-quick charging stations were established with a total investment of almost €100 million and an EU subsidy of €50 million. We intend to continue this trend and challenge all interest groups to submit their proposals for environmentally-friendly transport to the CEF for financing."

The European Union set the target of reducing CO2 emissions from transport by 60% by 2050. The changeover of a share of passenger traffic to e-mobility represents an important component of the strategy toward achieving this goal, as well as decreasing dependency on fossil fuels and improving air quality in urban areas.

According to Henrik Hololei, General Director of DG Move: "The reduction of CO2 from transportation is an important goal of the EU 2020 strategy. The four successful pilot projects show how the interaction between industry and public authorities can promote an increase in electric cars in Europe. We are just at the beginning of a new age of transportation, and we intend to continue our support for the changeover to alternative fuels and for the charging station infrastructure necessary for this."“

In close collaboration, the project partners are implementing innovative solutions toward the cross-border realisation of new technologies and services. The allocation of these solutions to charging network providers supports a broad development of quick charging networks within and outside of the four pilot regions of the EU TEN-V programme.

In the words of Olivier Paturet, Nissan, Project Coordinator for the TEN-V RCN project: "There is a clear correlation between the availability of charging stations, the operating range of e-cars and the acceptance of electric cars on the part of consumers. This forward-looking pan-European programme got the key players together at one table in the interest of bringing the infrastructure of electric charging stations forward."

"These important steps are of central significance for the stabilisation of the current growth in sales and utilisation of electric cars. The next step will have to build on this growth, support the development of further charging stations in still more countries and equip ourselves for the next generation of higher charging capacities. Continuous investments on the private as well as the public side are thus indispensable to the effort to speed up the acceptance of e-cars in Europe and edge closer to the EU environmental objectives."

Behavioural patterns and personal attitudes of e-car drivers were investigated in the framework of each project by academic partners and market research institutes. The goal is to lay stress on the advantages of compatible networks of quick charging stations for the acceptance of electric cars on the part of consumers. Information from drivers, including the attitude toward the charging of vehicles and changes to mobility patterns, helps to speed up the future expansion of quick charging infrastructure in the European Member States.

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The Projects in Detail

The Central European Green Corridors project is installing 115 high-performance multi-standard charging stations in Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia with connections to Munich and Zagreb in order to prepare a nation-wide network of charging stations that are compatible with market-established electric cars with high-performance charging technology. All charging stations are part of one single integrated network. Diverse studies have concentrated on expectations, charging patterns and energy use, as well as interaction with other alternative fuels (hydrogen), network planning and quality management during the market introduction and in operation. CEGC is being implemented by the following partner companies: VERBUND AG (Coordination), BMW, Nissan, Renault, Volkswagen, OMV, SMATRICS, SODO, ZSE, the Zagreb municipal authority, the Slovenian government, Bayern Innovativ, Greenway, Schrack Technik and Petrol. CEGC is co-financed by the Trans-European Transport Networks of the European Union.

Rapid Charge Network
The RCN project in the United Kingdom and Ireland encompasses a network of 74 quick charging stations. It is administered by Zero Carbon Futures, a consulting company from Sunderland focussing on transportation with low CO2 emissions. The EU financed half of the 7.4 MM euros, and Nissan is at the vanguard of the contributing industrial operations, among which BMW, Renault and VW are also counted. A significant component of the project is a research programme carried out by Newcastle University. As energy providers, Ecotricity (UK) and ESB (Ireland) ensure the power supply of the quick charging stations.

Greening NEAR
The Danish-Swedish project Greening NEAR involves a network of 40 ABB Terra 53 quick charging stations that are in a position to charge all modern e-vehicles within 20-30 minutes. The network offers significantly improved availability of charging stations and services for the operation of electric vehicles – along the most important highways of Denmark and of the region around Malmö and Lund in Southern Sweden. E.ON Denmark is implementing the project and receives 1.15 M euros from the TEN-V programme.

The CORRI-DOOR project is installing 200 interoperable multi-standard quick charging stations (CCS, CHAdeMO, three-phase current) along the major TEN-V traffic pathways and highways of France. The charging station network is completely compatible with all electric vehicles available on the market. Interoperability with other already existing French or international networks is guaranteed in France either through bilateral cooperation of the operators or via eRoaming platforms such as Gireve. Official recommendations for nation-wide and cross-border interoperability have resulted from this development. The network is already in commercial use, while studies as to the acceptance on the part of consumers are underway. The business models applied are being examined with an eye to a recommendation to the European Commission.  Likewise, the proposal of a timetable for the installation of further quick charging stations in France and recommendations for cross-border traffic pathways are in preparation. CORRI-DOOR is implemented by EDV and its subsidiary Sodetrel, and further by BMW, Nissan, Renault, VW and ParisTech. CORRI-DOOR is co-financed by the European Commision through the European TEN-V programme in the amount of 4.85 M euros.

Editorial Note
The final event, including presentations of the project results, recommendations from interest groups and view for the future, took place in Brussels on 1 December, with the participation of the project partners, representatives of the European Commission (Mobility and Transport), the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Gerlinde Gänsdorfer VERBUND Press Office

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