People with electric cars know that they require a reliable and easy-to-reach charging network to keep this electric solution viable. Of course, it helps if you have a garage where you can charge your car easily, and maybe even a second car sitting as a backup. But for the people who let’s say live on the 5th story of an apartment building, this might not be a possible option. To make electric cars a real thing, more attractive, and viable for the customers, there is a dire need of these easy-to-reach electric recharging stations.
Given this rising need, the Netherlands have seen the emergence and growth of such a network. A company known as Fastned has already installed 50 beautiful solar-powered chargers for the electric cars. Now, they are aiming to stack up this number to 200 in the very near future. In the video below, Robert Llewellyn, a regular customer there, paid one charging station a visit. He had a friendly chat with Bart Lubbers, the company founder, about their plans for the future.
The owner told Robert that solar panels are used to create electricity for the station. The charging booths directly store the charge created by the panels. On a good sunny day, the panels can create enough charge for about three cars. Rest of the charge comes from a contract with wind power generators. The owner said that the charging stations are built with the idea of ‘expansion’ in mind. Currently, all the stations can charge maximum two cars at a time, but the station can be expanded to charge at least six more.
The company offers several pricing options and plans, including monthly fees and lower Kwh rates for the people who charge regularly, and no monthly fees but higher Kwh rates for people who charge their cars occasionally. The company offers two volume packages. First one consists of the users paying $12 per month for the subscription and 35 cents per Kilowatt-hour when charging. However, the second one consists of an unlimited package, where the users pay $99 per month to charge their cars anytime throughout the month.
Each station currently has a capacity of 50kW that is planned to go to 300kW by the year 2020. Lubbers also revealed that he eventually plans to add coffee shops/bathroom facilities to his stations, making it a full-fledged charging station. It sounds like a really smart approach to the electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
You can watch the entire interview here.
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