Fastned is well on its way to becoming one of the largest electric car charging networks in Europe. Last week, it announced it was working with German authorities to construct a fast charging network in that country. Now, Fastned says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Transport For London to do the same in the Greater London area.
Michiel Langezaal, CEO of Fastned, told the press last week, “We are witnessing the start of the Autowende from fossil to electric. This is accompanied by the start of a transition from petrol stations to fast charging stations where electric cars can charge super fast and continue their journey. Fastned is building a pan-European network of fast charging stations that will provide freedom to drivers of electric cars to travel across Europe. As charging speeds increase, charging will become like refueling your car, and fast charging stations will be the petrol stations of the future.”
Transport for London has established a goal of 300 fast charging stations in the Greater London area by the year 2020 in order to meet the City’s plans to significantly reduce air pollution by expanding the number of electric vehicles on its roads and highways. Having a fast charging network in place is deemed critical to meeting that goal.
Fastned was selected after an extensive competitive bidding process, along with a few other companies. “The other charging companies are Bluepoint London, the Centrica Consortium, Chargemaster and Electricity Supply Board (ESB),” Roy Hales notes. “London’s first 75 charging points should be operational by the end of the year. By 2020, there could be 300. “
Fastned’s Lengezaal says, “We are very happy that TfL is making locations available for charging infrastructure through a public tender procedure. This enables Fastned to build the infrastructure required to give freedom to electric vehicle drivers and allows Fastned to live up to its mission to accelerate the advent of the electric car.”
Transport for London (TfL) will enter into concession agreements with Fastned to permit construction of the fast charging stations starting in a few months. In total, TfL has an £18 million fund for upgrading the city’s power supply and to build rapid charge points.
London is doing much more than this, though — on January 1, 2018, all new taxis coming into the city will have to be capable of zero-emissions driving, as any vehicle with a plug is. Roy Hales adds: “TfL and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles are offering taxi drivers up to £7,500 towards their purchase of a new zero emission capable black cab.” Those electric taxis, unsurprisingly, will need some places to charge — and to charge fast. Hence the complementary EV charging scheme.