ESB ecars last week announced detailed plans for the rollout of fast charge points in service stations across the country from next month. Under agreements with Topaz, The Maxol Group and Lidon Limited, a number of fast charge points will be available in service stations along inter-urban routes from May and throughout the summer, enabling drivers to ‘power up’ electric cars from zero to 80% of their capacity in less than 30 minutes.
The first fast charge points will be operational from next month in Topaz stations in Monaghan and Cashel, followed shortly afterwards by locations in Cork, Athlone and Cavan in June 2011.
A Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed between ESB ecars and Topaz for fast charging in a further ten service stations. Standard charge points will also be installed at these locations.
ESB ecars has reached an agreement with The Maxol Group about installing fast and standard charge points at a number of Maxol service stations across the country, commencing with Navan, Co Meath which is expected to be up and running by June.
ESB ecars has also finalised an agreement with Lidon Limited (trading as Junction 14 Mayfield) to install both fast and standard charge points on the new motorway service area on the M7 (junction 14), Monasterevin, Co Kildare. These charge points are expected to be also operational by June.
Under the partnership agreements, a total of 30 fast charge points are planned to be installed at service station across the country by the end of 2011. ESB ecars will place the fast charge points in strategic locations so that electric car owners can travel easily between urban centres.
This development in infrastructure marks a major milestone in promoting the wider adoption of electric cars in Ireland and allows drivers travelling longer distances the option of a fast and convenient charging solution.
ESB ecars is already committed to implementing the nationwide electric car charging network that is required to support the electrification of the country’s transport fleet. It has set the following targets to be achieved by the end of 2011:
n 30 fast charge points installed
n 1500 public charge points available across Ireland
n 2000 home charge units installed (dependent on ecar sales)
ESB Chief Executive, Padraig McManus said: “The introduction of fast charge points represents a big step forward in the development of electric transport in Ireland. The availability of fast charge points will help to reassure drivers that longer journeys between urban centres are practical and that Ireland is well on the way to making ecar driving an everyday reality”.
The nationwide infrastructure rollout and early adoption of electric cars gives Ireland the opportunity to position itself as an ideal hub for electric car development and research. ESB ecars is involved in EU funded electric car projects as well as a number of local electric car pilot projects. In conjunction with ESB ecars, DIT Kevin Street is studying the electrical characteristics of both fast and standard ecar charging as one element of a wider research project to develop a smart charging system for electric cars that is suitable for Ireland.
All installed fast charge points use high speed electronics to turn mains electricity into high power (Direct Current/DC) and are built to the Japanese Chademo standard which was launched in 2010. Because of Ireland’s leadership role in the area of fast charghing ESB has been nominated to the European Chademo Steering Group.