The Fast-E project, co-financed by the European Union and nine companies, has officially launched, with the objective of installing 241 fast-charging charging stations in Germany and 37 in Belgium. A sister project between the Czech Republic and Slovakia will add another 30 charging stations.
The 278 charging points set up every 80 km along Germany and Belgium’s main motorways, will allow drivers of electric vehicles to “refuel” and extend their car’s range. The total investment of the EU-funded cooperation is approximately €18 million (US$20 million).
Under the leadership of the charging station operator Allego, the project Fast-E brings together nine companies in the industry, including three charging station operators (RWE Effizienz, enviaM and Allego) as well as four car manufacturers (Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, Renault SAS, Nissan Center EUROPE), DB Energie GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn and the Hamburg-based company hySOLUTIONS. The last, a competence center in several charging infrastructure projects, is responsible for the integration of new drive technologies in urban transport.
The quick-charging stations installed as part of the project employ the Combined Charging System (CCS) and CHAdeMO, each with up to 50 kW power output, as well as a type 2 connector with 43 kW power output. The project is expected to end in December 2017 with the completion of the accompanying studies; the charging infrastructure will continue to operate commercially thereafter.
Renault sells more electric vehicles in Europe than any other car manufacturer and had a market share of more than 23% in 2015.