Charging stations: The future of electric vehicles
Recharging your electric vehicle while you do your shopping, while you work, or during the night in the parking garage … does it seem unlikely? And yet, charging stations are already installed near you to support electric transport.
Considering that 87% of commutes in Europe are less than 60 km and that the average daily distance travelled is 34 km, the limited autonomy of electric vehicles, regarded as the principal psychological brake on their adoption, is not a constraint.
“The autonomy of the electric vehicles coming onto the market is compatible with most uses, which removes one of the main obstacles to their adoption”, says Caroline Chapuis, project manager at Citeos. Nevertheless, you can’t have an electric vehicle without a specialised charging infrastructure! And to date, access to charging facilities is limited and they are not very visible. Thus, the deployment of a charging infrastructure is essential for the development of electric vehicles. To facilitate this, charging stations are being deployed little by little in parking garages, at workplaces, and in residential buildings. We estimate that 90% of charging takes place at work or at home.
Electric transport: a 19th century invention
Even though the electric car seems to be a recent invention, this is not at all the case! First appearing in the 19th century, it co-existed with two other types of vehicles: steam and petrol. In the 20th century, it was supplanted by petrol vehicles, which were faster and easier to refill, given the wide availability of petrol.
VINCI Energies and the installation of vital charging stations
To allow companies and individuals to use electric vehicles, VINCI Energies is deploying recharging infrastructures, such as in the Cher department, by working with charging station manufacturers. To accomplish this, “it is not enough to install a station on a pavement”, points out Nicolas Planteau, Managing Director within a VINCI Energies pole in France: “In fact, we have to install equipment to supply electric power and intelligent energy management systems”. Connecting a terminal to the grid requires the control of high-voltage electricity distribution, management of automation, and the provision of access codes.… Ensuring communication between the vehicle, the terminal, and the grid also depends on having a mobile or fixed network.
What is the “right to the power socket”?
Since July 2012, a French national decree stipulates that all new commercial buildings must be equipped with a device for charging electric and hybrid vehicles. As of 1 January 2015, this measure will be extended to all existing commercial and residential buildings.
The Group is also certified as EV Ready and ZE Ready. The first certification ensures compatibility between the charging infrastructure and Renault Z.E. vehicles. The second, launched by a consortium of automobile manufacturers, certifies that the different materials employed in recharging an electric car are compatible and safe.
VINCI Energies has equipped automobile manufacturer Renault with 190 charging stations (lien vers référence) at ten of its sites. The Group has also installed stations at 40 La Poste sites . Citeos has installed rapid charging stations at Ikea and Auchan parking facilities in France and at Nissan dealerships across Europe. In Germany, VINCI Energies has deployed recharging infrastructures in the private, public, and semi-public sectors, simple charging stations for domestic use, and complete, larger-scale solutions. Indeed corporate fleets will most probably lead the market, together with local authorities. In Great Britain, VINCI Energies is one of the pioneers of electric networks for electric vehicles.