Europe’s first fast charger network rolls out

Europe’s first fast charger network rolls out

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The first fast chargers, installed by Allego, went operational this week in Kleinostheim near by Frankfurt am Main, Germany, near the A3 motorway. The four ultra-fast chargers are located at the Aschaffenburg-West exit on Saaläcker Strasse. Four e-cars can be charged simultaneously at the stations, initially with 175 kW. In the spring of 2018, the charging stations will be upgraded to support 350 kW charging at two of the four connections. 

The new ‘Ultra-E’ charging stations will be erected at intervals of 150 to 200 km near motorway exits. More stations will follow, the next one in Bernau am Chiemsee, Southeast Germany.

“We are delighted to be setting a milestone for future electro-mobility in Europe with this new generation of fast chargers,’ said Ulf Schulte, chief operating officer of Allego. “The ultra-fast charging stations are designed to accommodate many current and future types of e-car. They are particularly suited to the new long range e-cars that will be available from 2018. With these new ultra-fast chargers, Allego is supplementing its existing fast charging network of 250 50kW charging stations, making it a pioneer in Europe. We support all the current charging cards and access apps, enabling anyone to charge their e-car at Allego and quickly be on their way. It is thanks chiefly to our working relationships with our numerous partners that we are able to offer this comprehensive service.’

The €13m ‘Ultra-E’ project is funded by an alliance of energy companies, vehicle manufacturers, automotive suppliers, a roaming platform and public institutions. Allego acts as coordinator, alongside Audi, BMW i, Renault Magna, Bayern Innovativ, Hubject, Smatrics and Verbund. 

Next: 450kW FastCharge project

Allego is also part of the German FastCharge project, led by BMW, that is developing chargers operating at 450kW. This would use 900V and 500A for a charging time of under 15 minutes using cooled charging cables, plugs and vehicle power sockets while still using the plugs and standards of the Combined Charging System (CCS). This would allow vehicles with lower current and voltage demands to also use the fast-charging stations too.

The €7.8m project also includes Phoenix Contact E-Mobility, Porsche and Siemens and is backed by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The project is looking at all aspects of fast charging in practical application, aiming to introduce and manufacture the required technologies on an industrial scale, including an automated registration and billing process for customers. The complete system will be ready to reach the prototyping stage early next year.

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