On 12th of January, Deputy Mayor of Paris Christophe Najdovski inaugurated the first of 60 multi-standard semi-fast charging stations in the city. Headed by the city of Paris and with the participation of the region of Ile-de-France, ADEME (French Agency for Environment and Energy) and Sodetrel, the charging station operator, the Belib’ project will cost an estimated 10,4 M€ and is part of Paris’ strategy to improve air quality.
The recurrent pollution peaks in the city, which last year in March beat New Delhi and Beijing in terms of bad air quality, have pushed Mayor Anne Hidalgo to take various countermeasures, in which electric mobility plays a key role. Already home to an EV car sharing service and its charging network Autolib’, Paris offers its inhabitants free parking for their
electric vehicles and subsidies for installing wall boxes in apartment buildings’ parking lots. To top it off it is now host to one of the most comprehensive urban semi-fast charging networks in the world, the Belib’ network.
To make sure that no vehicle blocks these slots without taking electricity, each charger is equipped with a radar that detects the presence of vehicle in front of it. If no charge takes place, Belib’ network informs the police, which can then be sent to the charge station and potentially give a ticket for illegal parking. Belib’ project proves that fast and semi-fast chargers are not only meant for highways but are also perfectly adapted to urban environments. Furthermore, this quick energy top-up service is a key component of a complete urban e-mobility strategy and a leverage to encourage companies to switch to electric vehicles. Given that Paris’ mobility initiatives often inspire cities around the world, we can expect other urban fast charging networks to come in the near future.
All Belib’ stations, manufactured by CHAdeMO member company Lafon, are equipped with 2 semifast chargers, each with one CHAdeMO, CCS and Type 2 connectors, meaning that EV drivers now have 120 semi-fast charges at their disposal. Add to that 8 existing CHAdeMO chargers, CHAdeMO-compatible EV drivers shall be able to charge at 130 fast and semi-fast charge points in the City of Light. The Belib’ network, its name coming from the same family as the city’s bike-sharing scheme Velib’ and car-sharing Autolib’, is open to both private and professional EV drivers, but the city hopes to particularly attract the latter. With delivery vans driving many kilometers throughout the day every day, a quick energy top-up on the way is an ideal option for companies – the reason why Belib’ stations are predominantly located on delivery parking spots. Thus, companies hesitating to make their delivery operations emissions-free have now no excuse not to switch to electric vehicles.
The pricing scheme encourages shorter charging sessions and quicker turnover at stations, while providing a service that is financially attractive for EV drivers. 15€ to sign up, the user can charge their EV for 1€ for the first hour, 2€ for the additional 15 min and after that 4€ for each 15 min slot that follows.