Tag Archives: highway

EV charging.

Europe will get 10,000 EV charging points and an ‘electric highway’ to connect Italy to Norway by 2020

International energy company E.ON and Denmark-based e-mobility service provider CLEVER have released more details on their plan to roll out charging stations across Europe. These include an ‘electric highway’ equipped with ultra-fast charging stations that would connect 7 European countries, all the way from Italy to Norway.

EV charging.

Image part of the public domain.

The companies first announced their intended debut on the charging-station market about a week ago. They’re shooting for as many as 10,000 charging points across Europe by 2020 and said that some of them will sustain a charging rate of up to 350 kW. Apart from that, however, they were pretty scant on specifics. Now they’ve returned with more details, and it looks highly promising.


E.ON intends to connect 7 European countries with 180 fast charging stations. They partnership with Clever aims to deliver a final 400 such stations on the continent. The stations are designed as a modular system that enables an initial charge rate of 150 kW and can be later upgraded to handle 350 kW. This upgrade-able design is intended to allow the ‘e-highway’ enough flexibility to handle advancements in electric vehicle technology, especially upgrades in battery capacity and supported charging speeds.

“Together with strong partners we are taking a joint step towards establishing a comprehensive ultra-fast charging infrastructure in Europe,” said Frank Meyer, Head of Innovation and B2C at E.ON. “It is a testament to our commitment to provide convenient e-mobility solutions for our customers in Europe. We see a reliable ultra-fast charging network in combination with our home and destination solutions as main prerequisites for a mass market adoption of electric mobility,”

Here are some of the main takeaways from E.ON’s announcement:

  • The project will receive 10 million euros in support from the EU (through the CEF program) between 2017 and 2020.
  • Work has already begun on sites in both Germany and Denmark. The European Commission has selected this plan as a flagship project.
  • The first stage of the project will include 180 sites in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the UK, Italy, France, and Norway. YX Energi will be a ‘facility partner’ for the project in Norway.
  • Sites will be placed every 120 to 180 km along motorways. Initial charging will be limited to 150 kW, with a potential upgrade to 350 kW. This means the stations will be able to charge a 400 km-range battery in roughly 20-30 minutes (depending on each car’s specifications), and that interval will shorten as battery tech advances and charging capacity is increased.
  • Each station will have between 2 and 6 charging points and will support CCS charging, the European standard for fast charging.

Overall, there’s a lot of good news here to get excited over if you’re a fan of electric vehicles. The chargers would be faster than those today, which usually revolve around 50 kW. Their built-in upgrade potential to 350 kW is particularly welcome as it will let the network meet the requirements of future e-vehicles which will likely support much higher charges.

But there are potential red flags here as well. Most of all, the low number of charging points per station. In the US, Tesla also started out with 6 points per Supercharger station but have since moved to 12, 16, 20, even 50 chargers per station in their newer stations. E.ON’s higher charge capacity should allow each point to serve customers faster, but even so, topping up an electric vehicle will take some time. Given that a lot of EVs are expected to hit the road in the next few years, and that you’d need 20 to 30 minutes to charge a more accommodating battery, 2 to 6 chargers per station might just not be enough.

Hopefully, the stations will meet requirements and E.ON will expand on them, adding new charging points as needed. Until then, the project is a testament to the huge appeal such vehicles hold in Europe, and the trust business and government have in them.

City of Hamburg to build public green spaces atop of noisy highway and become car free in 20 years

Three public parks will cover an Autobahn (highway) that passes through the city of Hamburg, in Germany. The 8,000-mile road network runs through Hamburg’s city center, dividing the city into an eastern and western half and creating a lot of disturbing noise. The problem will be solve through the addition of the green spaces.

Image via Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment

The highway causes two main problems – first of all, it breaks the city’s continuity for pedestrians, and second of all, it creates a lot of pollution (dust, dirt, air pollution and noise pollution). As part of an effort to green the city, Hamburg will will build covers on three separate sections of the Autobahn. This will allow pedestrians not only to cross the street and be rid of most of the noise and air pollution, but also enjoy some new parks.

Hamburg is currently working on a plan that would eliminate the need for cars within the next 15-20 years, creating one of the most eco friendly and healthiest cities in the world. The city is working on a green network which will allow people on foot or riding a bike to access all the routes in the city. The Guardian explains:

“[Hamburg] envisions a network that doesn’t just help residents get from point A to point B in a sustainable fashion,” with city spokesperson Angelika Fritsch adding “It will offer people opportunities to hike, swim, do water sports, enjoy picnics and restaurants, experience calm and watch nature and wildlife right in the city. That reduces the need to take the car for weekend outings outside the city.”

Hamburg wants to create a green network and become car free within 20 years. Image via ArchDaily.

These parks ontop of the highway will be embedded into the green network. The redesign will cover 3 km (2 miles) of the Autobahn, giving 60 acres (0.2 square km) of new green space back to the people of Hamburg. There is also an economic upside to this (aside for improving life quality) – the German government projects about 2,000 new homes can be built around the parkland.

What do you think about this initiative?