The power company E.ON installed the first DC quick-charge stations in Germany on a highway in Bavaria on August 24th, with more to come. EVs with a charge capacity of up to 50kW will be able to fully charge their batteries at the E.ON stations in 20 – 30 minutes. Compared to the current charging stations – AC chargers able to handle 3.5kW charging capacity in about 6 hours – they’re a vast improvement.
The new stations also support the CHAdeMO protocol, a single standard for EVs and chargers. EVs available in Germany which also support the CHAdeMO protocol include the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Peugeot iOn, the Citroën C-Zero and the Nissan Leaf.
Charging 5 Euros inclusive per use (about $6.82 USD) during the test phase, E.ON is moving toward operating public quick-charge stations only. Klaus Dieter-Maubach, head of research and technology, explains that the quick-charge trend is of particular interest: “The only way to interest both consumers and power suppliers is to have charging times of a few minutes, instead of several hours,” he says.
Ruth Werhahn, responsible for e-mobility at E.ON, has a few other ideas. “Quick-charge stations clearly expand an EV’s operational range,” she says. “They enable drivers to go beyond commuting from work to home and charging overnight – we can go between Munich and Salzburg (90 miles) or Frankfurt and Stuttgart (130 miles) in a single trip.”
The stations are even supplied by green energy sources – the majority of their electricity will be generated by German hydropower plants – making them attractive not only to the driver without a garage to house a personal charger, but to the environmentally conscious as well.