Another 63 new public fast-charging stations for electric vehicles will be built along major roads across 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 finally confirmed by the signing the grant agreement by the European Commission, specifically by INEA, its 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 percent being the co-payment by ČEZ.
Last year, ČEZ obtained resources for the construction of fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles for the first time (the “EV Fast Charging Backbone Network Central Europe”), resulting thus far in the commissioning of a total of 7 fast-charging stations (on the D0, D1 and D8 motorways). Dozens of other charging stations are in the preparatory phase 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) has 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 for building 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 defined project objectives by high-quality and reliable outputs. 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 a project that will further develop e-mobility in the Czech Republic, strengthen the cross-border interoperability of charging networks in Central Europe and ease long-distance travel 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 currently operates the largest network of public EV charging stations in Czech Republic – offering drivers 35 fast charging stations as well as about fifty “normal”charging stations. More information is available at http://www.elektromobilita.cz/cs/mapa-dobijecich-stanic.html. Before using any charging station within the entire network, users identify themselves by unique RFID cards.
At the same time, CEZ Groupoffers a wide range of related electromobility services and products for companies, municipalities and regions. These include, for example, design and turnkey-installation 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 part of the Electromobility project, CEZ Group operates fast charging stations supplied by ABB Czech Republic. Their standard features include DC connectors of the CHAdeMO and CCS charging standards, which allow charging at up to 50 kW. They also provide AC charging through a Mennekes plug, which supports charging at 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-based 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 Czech Republic, there are about 1,500 electric vehicles currently registered. Similarly to other developed countries in Europe, electric vehicles are becoming 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 just a few years. Gradual elimination ofthe biggest barriers (narrow choice of electric vehicles, high price, low density of charging infrastructure, and limited customer experience), in combination with incentive measures (free access to downtown and parking areas, lanes shared with public transportation, etc.), will quickly bring the share of electric drive to 20% of the total sales of passenger cars and light utility vehicles in Czech Republic.
Martin Schreier, ČEZ Spokesman for Renewable Sources