Accelerating e-mobility in Europe: CHAdeMO European Conference to share and discuss business models, roaming, V2X and beyond

Association & protocol news

During EVS27, when a large number of e-mobility stakeholders got together from different parts of the world, CHAdeMO Association’s European member meeting has taken place in the office of ENDESA in Barcelona on 20th November.

Already a 4th event since its establishment in 2010, this meeting’s afternoon session, open to members and non-members, welcomed leaders of e-mobility from different countries in Europe as speakers. Passionate, eager to share & discuss, provocative at times, the speakers gave strong and lasting impressions on the total of around 60 participants who came for the occasion from 17 countries.

Following the speech by Jorge Sanchez, ENDESA (CHAdeMO Europe president company), welcoming the audience, Michiel Langezaal, Fastned was our first speaker. Mr. Langezaal shared his ambitious project of establishing a national network of fast chargers on the Dutch highways with over 200 charging locations and 400 chargers in total (to begin with). These stations will be equipped with multi-standard fast chargers and a photovoltaic canopy. 100% privately funded and delivered with strong belief and passion, his business case presentation received many questions from the admiring audience.

Gilles Bernard, GIREVE, followed to speak about his project of integrating payment schemes in France to make EV-roaming payment possible. Mr. Bernard emphasized the importance of standardization for charging interoperability “beyond plugs” and shared his belief for an open, creative and competitive market with multiple solutions (RFID cards, smart phones, etc.), as long as they are interoperable in terms of payment and hassle-free for consumers. Concerning the 15118 standard he mentioned that it’s still not complete and that the process to add close-distance radio communication between an EV and the charger is on-going. He also stressed that the 15118 is by no means the only possible way to manage payments and that the final solution is not yet known.

Jarmo Tuisk, NOW! Innovations, talked about the EV car-sharing project that has recently kicked off in Estonia. He has shared with us the challenges and NOW! Innovations’ approach to address these issues, including surprisingly easy on-line subscription and operations entirely based on smart phone applications. Although the expectations were that the car sharing users will limit themselves to two of the biggest cities, the emerging data demonstrates that they benefit from the national fast charging network to go long distances all over the country, doubling the number of weekly fast charger usage sessions since the launch of the scheme.

Eric Stempin from EVTRONIC has introduced his company’s innovative product, a DC fast charger with batteries integrated in order to keep the demand charge at a lower bracket, mitigating the impact on the grid, while still delivering 50 kW to the vehicle. While the initial investment may seem higher, as it includes the cost of the battery integrated in the charger, the installation is cheaper and, given the large difference in contract fees, the running cost will be much lower on this type of machine compared to conventional CHAdeMO chargers, Mr. Stempin argued.

Narcis Vidal from ENDESA spoke about their V2X product and its smart grid applications. Currently tested on a daily basis by a demo project in Malaga, as well as integrated into the smart grid system at their headquarters’ office in Barcelona, it has already started to produce results. Mr Vidal has shown some emerging data, explaining V2X’s potential in the reduction of peak demand and balancing the grid operation from the utility’s perspective, as well as in generating savings for the users, once this is launched on a wider scale.

Hans Streng, ABB has spoken about their new product that they have exhibited this fall at both eCarTec in Munich and EVS27 in Barcelona. This DC 10/20kw wall box for home use, to be released shortly in select markets, will be suited to countries where homes and grids are ready. Mr. Streng has shown a roadmap of development of DC fast charging technologies for the future and emphasized that ‘10/20 kW wall boxes’ are more cost effective for the auto makers and, once EVs have bigger batteries, will become a necessity for ordinary customers as well. He also reported that the cost of battery in China could already hit the breakeven point for pure Electric Vehicles against ICE vehicles, and given such a progress in the performance and the size of EV batteries, higher powered fast charging stations might dominate the near future EV charging infrastructure.

Akos Tamas, Connectour from Budapest, shared with the audience his ambitious tour in a LEAF, where he aims to achieve 4,000 km of EV driving across Europe. His plan involves a number of celebrities that support the cause participating as co-pilots for parts of the route and PR events to promote EVs as well as fast charging. His adventure scheduled for February 2014 shall be reported in the form of a TV documentary made up of 8 episodes with cameo appearances of well-known actors and sport players. 90% of his route he will be fast charged with CHAdeMO.

During the busy week of EVS27, even after having gone from a meeting to another for some days straight, all speakers and participants demonstrated incredible energy and passion to discuss the current projects and future developments around fast charging. Bringing together different industry sectors – utilities, charger / connector manufacturers, operators, researchers and EV aficionados the meeting provided yet another opportunity for a fruitful exchange of best practices and ideas.

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