Crossing Europe by electric car, or how to make dreams come true, thanks to the rollout of fast and ultra-fast charging station networks on European highways. Moreover, thanks to these new facilities, numerous drivers who travel on short stretches of highway daily can also charge their electric vehicles quickly. These new charging stations are an essential factor in the rollout of electromobility.
As of 2018, European highways totaled 2,550 fast charging stations and more than 5,000 CCS (Combined Charging System) chargers, which on average comes to one charging station every 60 km. In 2020, there will be 1000 more ultra-fast charging stations – from 150 to 350 kW – at highway rest areas, which will allow conventional service stations to increase their appeal by going “multi-energy.”
The prices vary depending on the type of charging station and whether or not the customer is a subscription card holder. But in France, a 30-minute charge generally costs no more than 10 euros.
For example, with its Combo CCS plug enabling direct current quick charging up to 50 kW, New Renault ZOE can recover an autonomy of around 150 km in 30 minutes.
However, in northern Europe an ultra-fast charge can cost up to 20 euros per half-hour.
To find out where charging stations are and their availability, there are several smartphone apps, like MY Renault for example. Online GPS systems and route planners also sometimes offer this service, which is very practical when planning a long, worry-free road trip in an electric car.
Good to know: although lots of fast charging stations work with subscription cards, they are most often operated via access code vouchers sold in service stations, or simply with a credit card.
Renault, Europe’s leader in electromobility, is collaborating with other industry players to back eight major rapid charging station network projects on highways. They include the Corri-Door program rolled out by EDF subsidiary Izivia in France, EVA+ developed by Enel in Italy and Austria, and IRVE, which has been set up by Ibil in Spain and Portugal. Others, like E-VIA FLEX E (Italy, France, Spain) and FAST-E (Germany, Belgium and eastern Europe) are also backed by the European Commission though its “Connecting Europe Facility” program. The governments of some other countries (the UK, Norway and Switzerland), are also making investments in the sector.
Thanks to the development of the highway charging network, driving throughout Europe by electric car, or simply having efficient facilities near home for more convenient use, is now a reality.
Copyrights : Bertlmann, OHM, Frithjof – Agence photo : Frithjof Ohm INCL. Pretzsch