Another 63 new public fast-charging stations for electric vehicles will be built along major roads across the Czech Republic.The stations, enabling charging of most standard-capacity batteries within less than half an hour, will be built during 2017-2020 by ČEZ Electromobility with the aid of a CEF grant. The grant has been recently confirmed by signing of the grant agreement by the European Commission, specifically by INEA (Innovation and Networks Executive Agency). The overall project budget amounts to EUR 2.937 million, of which EUR 2.496 million is the EC grant, and the remaining 15% is co-financed by ČEZ.
Last year ČEZ obtained resourcesfor the construction of fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles for the first time (the project “EV Fast Charging Backbone Network Central Europe”). So far 7 fast charging stations have been commissioned (on the D0, D1 and D8 motorways). Dozens of other charging stations are in being prepared and they will be constructed this year and in 2018.
Apart from these locations ČEZ has been continuously building stations from its own resources – this year, about 10 stations (both fast-charging and normal stations) have been already commissioned or will be commissioned in the near future.
“For fast traveling between cities construction of fast-charging stations is an essential prerequisite. The European grant under the CEF Transport facility allows us to build such stations much faster. It is an honor for us that ČEZ Electromobility is an established and trusted partner of the European Commission in this area, and we are ready to fulfill the project objectives. In addition we have been expanding the charging network from our own resources while simultaneously also creating a portfolio of related services and products for companies, municipalities and regions,”explains Kamil Čermák, Chief Executive Officer of ČEZ ESCO.
“I am proud that the EU and INEA will support this project which will further develop e-mobility in the Czech Republic, strengthen the cross-border interoperability of charging networks in the Central Europe and ease long-distance travels between cities and regions for the benefit of our citizens. With an additional 63 electric charging points, the EU's core transport network benefits fully from the support of the Connecting Europe Facility programme,”said Dirk Beckers, Director of the European Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency.
The ČEZ Electromobility project currentlyoperates the largest network of public EV charging stations in the Czech Republic offering drivers 35 fast charging stations as well as about 50 “standard” charging stations. More information is available at http://www.elektromobilita.cz/cs/mapa-dobijecich-stanic.html. To use any charging station within the entire network, users have to identify themselves by unique RFID cards.
At the same time, CEZ Group offers a wide range of related electromobilityservices and products for companies, municipalities and regions.These include for example planning and turnkey-installations of charging stations, electrification of fleets, charging platforms, including IT solutions, rental or sale of electric vehicles or wall boxes and charging cables. For municipalities ČEZ offers the implementation and operation of electric-bus charging stations or conceptual designs of electromobility for individual cities and regions.
As a part of the Electromobility project CEZ Group operates fast charging stationssupplied by ABB Czech Republic. Their standard features include DC connectors of the CHAdeMO and CCS charging standards, which allow charging up to 50 kW. They also provide AC charging through a Mennekes plug, which supports charging up to 22 kW. Charging using DC connectors enables filling batteries up to 80% of their capacity within less than half an hour.
ABB stations are standardly connected to a cloud platform that allows for real-time monitoring of the facility and remote diagnostics, including energy consumption for each of them, or statistic reports for a certain period of time. These are “Drive Care” and “Charger Care” applications. Combined with an integrated predictive maintenance application on the Microsoft Azure platform, the system can respond even before a malfunction affects the quality of the service provided. For electromobility the reliability of stations is essential.
In the Czech Republic, there are about 1,500 electric vehicles currently registered. Similarly to other developed countries in Europe, electric vehicles are becoming more and more common especially in city traffic. This is reflected in all fields related to sales and servicing of electric vehicles. According to estimations of the further development, annual sales of thousands of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids can be expected within few years. Gradual elimination of the biggest barriers (narrow choice of electric vehicles, high price, low density of charging infrastructure and limited customer experience), in combination with incentives (free access to downtown and parking areas, access to bus and taxi lanes etc.), will quickly bring the share of electric vehicles to 20% of the total sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the Czech Republic.