EV charging in Europe

Q-Park opens first parking garage with fast-charging station in the Netherlands

Q-Park, one of the three leading providers of parking facilities in Europe, recently opened the first parking garage with a fast charger in the Netherlands. With this EV charging pole, electric vehicles are able to charge up to 80% within 15 to 30 minutes depending on car type. The parking garage is located at the New Babylon central station in The Hague.

This new type of charging pole allows users to charge their electric vehicle a lot faster than usual. Soon, Q-Park will implement this type of charging pole in more Q-Park parking garages in the Netherlands. The quick charging pole is the result of cooperation between Q-Park, Nissan and The New Motion and is a part of the so called “Love to Load network” started by The New Motion. Goal of the Love to Load network is to improve the accessibility of intelligent charging stations and fast charging stations in the Netherlands. The New Motion as an organization promotes green / renewable energy for mobility solutions that is affordable to customers.

I doubt if electric vehicles have a future in the Netherlands. I don’t see an electric vehicle that often and I must say that I never noticed a public charging station anywhere around here. I don’t know much about the EV progress in the Netherlands, but I do know that experts in Germany announced that electric vehicles probably won’t have a future in Germany.

Electric vehicles in Germany

The German government had the great ambition to have one million electric vehicles driving around in Germany by the year 2020. But because there are too less charging points available, this project never really had a chance. Now they reached the point where numerous of pilot projects are cancelled and plans of installing new charging stations aren’t realized because there aren’t enough electric vehicles in Germany. It just wouldn’t pay off in the long run. Experts say it’s not just the lack of electric vehicles that is to blame: It happened too many times that, for example, ‘normal’ cars parked at charging stations without law enforcement doing anything about it or that electric vehicles where town away while there was an agreement that EV’s could park for free at the designated parking spaces. If the rules aren’t clear, you can’t play the game. And that is exactly what happened in Germany.

Electric vehicles in Europe

The European Commission thinks that countries don’t stimulate the use of EV’s as much as they should. That is why they want that each country installs a minimum number of charging stations. The Commission also proposed that every European country uses the same type of plug for charging electric vehicles and alternative fuel should be more accessible.

The Netherlands are the leading country in applying and stimulating green energy for transportation, but still the European Commission believes there should be more charging stations: In 2011 the Netherlands had 1700 electric vehicle charging points and according to the European Commission this should be at least 32.000. For the UK are the numbers a bit lower: There are about 703 charging stations and the European Commission wants this number to grow to 122.000.

The Commission believes that there aren’t that many electric vehicles in Europe because there aren’t enough charging stations, and since there aren’t enough electric vehicles people don’t build any more charging stations. The European Commission hopes to break this circle with this new proposal.

How do you think the future of electric vehicles and charging stations in Europe looks like? And what are your thoughts on the proposal of the European Commission?

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