Europe is celebrating another coming electric highway (e-highway), one that stretches from Norway to Italy. E.ON and Clever are working on this north–south e-Highway.
Ride The E.On & Clever Electric Highway from Norway to Italy
Imagine driving coast-to-coast in the USA? Well, that’s old news here. In fact, you can pretty much visit all four corners of the US in a long-range electric vehicle (EV). But in Europe, traveling from one side of the community to the other is a little tricky. Thankfully, engineers are working on making that another reality. Although Tesla has a decent European supercharging network, not everyone owns a Model S. Of course, we wrote about BMW, Ford, and Volkswagen teaming to install the IONITY European charging network. The 400 charging stations will be mostly in Germany, Norway, and Austria, but won’t all be online until 2020.
This new e-highway is the fruit of a collaboration between the international energy and e-mobility company E.ON and the Danish e-mobility provider CLEVER. The network is shy of the IONITY capacity but will, nonetheless, have 180 “ultra-fast” chargers stretching across 7 countries, from Norway to Italy over the next three years, with room for more.
E.ON & CLEVER, the North–South European e-Highway
Technically speaking, the stations will be capable of offering 150 kW, slightly more than Tesla’s 120 kW Superchargers. However, it won’t match IONITY’s 350 kW max capacity — at least, not yet. (Note that 350 kW charging would require that EVs get substantially more capable underlying architecture.)
To date, E.ON has only partnered with CLEVER for the first 160 charging stations. The last ones will be provided by the Norwegian service chain YX. And if 180 still leaves you feeling iffy, both companies are saying that, depending on results, the deal could get up to 400 stations throughout Europe.
The project will happen in a few steps. The first stations will be installed in Germany and Denmark, each with 2 to 6 chargers. E.ON claims each charger will give you a full charge, good for a range of 248 miles (400 km).
From Level 2 to Level 3, to Supercharging, Ultrafast Charging, & Beyond
Level 2 charging at 240 V takes on an average 6 to 7 hours to fully charge a regular EV with an average 40 kWh battery pack. Level 3, such as CHAdeMO, runs at a peak of 62.5 kW with 500 V and 125 A for the first 80% of the charge, taking about 40 minutes and then dwindling to a Level 2 charge for the remaining 20% of the charge.
The best part about “ultrafast charging” is that it would give you a full charge in 20–30 minutes at 350 kW. We should probably also say that both CHAdeMO and CCS are planning to upgrade their systems to 350 kW, with Tesla reportedly having similar plans.
How much will an ultrafast charging network cost? This new project has already gotten support from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility program (CEF), to the tune of €10 million. It has been named a flagship project by the European Commission, as one of only four projects to be granted the funds out of 349 applicants.
According to Frank Meyer, Head of Innovation and B2C at E.ON: “Together with strong partners we are taking a joint step towards establishing a comprehensive ultra-fast charging infrastructure in Europe. It is a testament to our commitment to provide convenient e-mobility solutions for our customers in Europe. We see a reliable ultra-fast charging network in combination with our home and destination solutions as main prerequisites for a mass market adoption of electric mobility.”
And Casper Kirketerp-Møller, CEO at CLEVER, also had something to say: “We are not just putting up charge points. We are designing charging stations with customer needs in focus, to ensure our customers have the same good and reliable experience no matter where they meet our brands. We believe that the combination of being able to cater for almost any car brand, securing the right locations and offering customers well thought through solutions will be part of convincing people that EVs are a real alternative to conventional cars.”
Here’s a quick fact sheet on the project:
- The first wave of the project will cover 180 sites in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Norway.
- CLEVER and E.ON receive support from the EU (CEF program) — €10 million from 2017–2020.
- YX in Norway is a facility partner to the project.
- The sites will be placed every 120–180 km along motorways.
- The sites will offer 150 kW charging, with potential for upgrade to 350 kW.
- The first sites are under construction in both Germany and Denmark.
- The ultrafast charging stations will initially enable charging of a full 400 km range battery in only 20–30 minutes, and charging time will be further reduced as charging capacity is increased and vehicle technology develops. Charging time depends on the specific car.
- The sites will be equipped with 2–6 chargers each.
- The stations will offer charging with CCS (European standard for fast charging).
Ultrafast Charging for Europe is on its Way
This is indeed good news for Europe and a network that lets EVs drive on the north and south axis is an important step to take at this stage of EV adoption. It should not only further accelerate EV adoption but curb down on pollution and put to rest the infamous range anxiety pitch.
We couldn’t help but slip in this video since we saw the yellow bug last week at EV West!
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