- Category: Europe
- 09 Jan 2012
- Published on Monday, 09 January 2012 18:58
- Hits (2703)
By Oliver M. Bayani
Swiss power and automation conglomerate ABB could be building Europe's largest electric car charging network in the country of Estonia.
Scheduled to be operational by December 2012, ABB plans to start installing 200 of its "Terra" fast chargers in the second quarter of this year.
The network is billed as the world's first fast-charging infrastructure serving an entire country, according to a company statement.
ABB's Terra chargers run on direct current and can recharge an electric car battery within 15 to 30 minutes. In contrast, it will take eight hours to charge the same battery using a regular alternating current power outlet - the one found in homes.
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First sold in May 2010, Terra chargers have been used extensively in wide-scale EV charging networks primarily in Europe, ABB said. In October, the company began installing Austria's first network of DC chargers for EV's for energy company Vorarlberger Kraftwerke.Estonia EV charging plans
The Estonian government aims to install a fast charger in the country every 50 kilometers, creating the highest concentration of DC chargers in Europe by far if accomplished.
Earlier in the year, the Estonian government started providing 507 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars to social workers around the country.
"The Estonian government would like to ensure that driving an EV in Estonia is as comfortable and safe as driving any other car," said Jarmo Tuisk, director of the Innovation and Technology Division at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
Projects concerning electric cars and infrastructure are financed by the Green Investment Scheme funded by the export credit agency KredEx. The country offers subsidies of up to 50 percent for private EV purchases, according to ABB.
ABB started installing two types of Terra fast-chargers at some gasoline service stations owned by British Petroleum in the Netherlands as part of a nationwide trial last November.
In September, ABB was picked to build China's largest ever electric vehicle charging station project at the Shenzhen Universiade Center.
The conglomerate won the present order together with G4S and NOW! Innovations, which provide customer support and payment solutions, respectively.
Aside from how far a EV car can go, people are also paying attention on how fast they can charge EV cars before making a buy. The report from the University of Delaware published in May even said individuals would be willing to pay for more for every hour saved in charging time.
After surveying 3,000 Americans, the researchers found that consumers would be willing to pay an additional $3,250 premium per hour of charging time saved when buying an electric car capable of having 50 miles' worth of charge in 10 minutes from an external high-power charging station.
EV charging station sales are expected to multiply rapidly over the next five years and reach 1.6 million units globally by 2015, according to Pike Research.