Five separate projects, for which the EU will share half the cost, will help remove the range limitations that drivers of electric vehicles face when traveling across Europe. Denmark will get 120 of the multi-standard fast chargers at 60 locations as part of a first step toward a goal of 950 fast and 2000 semi-fast chargers across Scandinavia. The Fast-E project will account for 278 more fast chargers in Germany and Belgium, plus another 19 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The UNIT-E project will be responsible for another 40 chargers in Belgium, France, Italy, and the UK. The Green Region for Electrification and Alternative fuels for Transport (GREAT) will establish 65 more in Germany and Scandinavia.
The result, should everything pan out the way it's supposed to, will grant EV drivers, regardless of the make and charging standard of their vehicles, significantly more freedom to travel from country to country across Europe. When you take into account Tesla's ambitious but realistic European plans for its Supercharger network, the continent looks to be a prime haven for electro-touring by the end of 2016.
Cross-border EV travels in Europe are to get even easier. As part of the Connecting Europe Facility, an EU funding mechanism for Transport, Energy and Telecommunication, European Commission announced the projects that shall receive its funding in the transport sector for 2015. In the e-mobility section, 5 international projects planning to jointly deploy over 500 fast chargers across Europe have managed to each secure 50% of funding from the Commission. CEF, created to facilitate the European integration across strategic areas, is now a key source of financing for EU's most important transport routes, known as Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) and is meant to not only to provide betterintegration between countries, but also to help facilitate the introduction of clean transport solutions.
Danish utility company Clever will lead a deployment of MECOR (Multi-modal connectivity for Oresund Region, Clever, Denmark-Sweden), as part of which 120 semi-fast chargers shall be deployed at 60 charging sites, connecting Malmo and Copenhagen. The deployment contributes to a global Scandinavian strategy aiming do install 950 fast and 2000 semi-fast chargers in the region.
Germany and Belgium, until now lagging a little bit behind in terms of fast charging coverage compared to other Western European countries, thanks to the Fast-E project will get a boost of 241 and 37 multi-standard fast chargers respectively, with the Dutch company Allego as the project leader. Those chargers will be complemented by another 29 in Czech Republic and Slovakia by a brother Fast-E project. On top of building and operating chargers using an innovative open-source ICT platform, the Czech-Slovakian Fast-E aims to create a complete EV Roll-Out Master Plan for both countries.
Even more chargers for Belgium shall come from the UNIT-E project led by French utility company EDF, who plans to erect a total of 40 fast chargers across Belgium, France, Italy and UK, demonstrating the economic viability and most of all interoperability of chargers across international regions. With the chargers from another EU-funded EDF project Corri-door currently being deployed in France, once both networks are completed, it shall be possible to travel seamlessly with an EV all the way from Dublin to Genoa.
Another increase of multi-standard chargers in Scandinavia and Germany will come from the GREAT (Green Region for Electrification and Alternative fuels for Transport) project, managed by region Skene, which plans to deploy 65 devices over 900km. The experiences gathered from the deployment will be used to form policy and business models recommendations for future infrastructure development.
Right now, crossing a continent in a VE is a real adventure, as those that have done it can ascertain. However, with over 500 fast chargers on key European roads, driving electrically across three or more countries should be as easy as doing the same route in an ICE car, i.e. a piece of cake.