Unifying Europe’s fast charging networks

2018-04-12 - ABB e-mobility technologies are helping the EU develop a network of interoperable and interconnected fast charging stations for electric vehicles

Sergio Torre, Duferco Energia, Alberto Cappato, Porto Antico di Genova SpA and Andrea De Candido, ABB, partner of Unit-e European project

Until this year, driving an electric vehicle long distances across Europe was close to impossible. There were gaps in the fast charging networks, and charging stations and billing systems were proprietary, open only to those with a contract with the station operator.

Now the Unit-e pilot project has shown that this fragmented arrangement of fast charging infrastructure and billing systems can be unified and open to all electric vehicle (EV) owners.

Co-funded by the European Commission and e-mobility companies like ABB, the project enables EV owners to drive 2,000 km, from Genoa to Dublin, and fast-charge their vehicles quickly and easily along the way, regardless of make, voltage, station operator and payment system.

About 38 fast charging stations have been added to the existing networks, mostly in Belgium but also in Italy, France and in the UK.

As part of its commitment to the project, ABB supplied four fast charging DC stations and four normal charging AC stations for the 175 km stretch of highway between Genoa and the French border. The fast charging stations will allow drivers to recharge their cars in 15-30 minutes, depending on the type of vehicle and amount of energy left in its battery.

ABB is a leader in the development of Europe’s electric vehicle networks, having supplied more than 65 percent of fast charging stations in Europe.

ABB charging infrastructure provides cloud-based, scalable remote monitoring and management, enabling station owners to monitor and control each charging station, diagnose faults and notify service teams, and easily manage transactions from different billing systems.

This combination of fast charging infrastructure and scalable monitoring and management unifies EV networks by making them interoperable and interconnected - to the benefit of consumers and network operators alike.

ABB AbilityTM Collaborative Operations
ABB supports its charging stations with monitoring and management delivered from an ABB AbilityTM Collaborative Operations Center that combines ABB expertise and the scalable Microsoft Azure cloud.

ABB Collaborative Operations Centers provide access to ABB experts that 24/7 monitor the charging stations, assess and analyze data, and advise customers of the insights provided by the data.

ABB operates 15 Collaborative Operations Centers for various industries worldwide, including the one in the image below for the power generation and water industries and EV networks. Located in Genoa, Italy, the center remotely monitors and collaborates with customers on around 700 power plants, water facilities and EV charging stations.

For the Unit-e project, ABB is part of a consortium, which includes electricity producers and energy suppliers EDF and EDF Luminus, car manufacturers Renault, Nissan, BMW, operators Sodetrel (subsidiary of EDF) and academics ENPC, IIC.

ABB is a leading provider of integrated power and automation solutions with unparalleled experience in partnering with the energy and water industries, providing customers improved operations and sustainable progress. We deliver integrated and secure digital systems, services and solutions to automate and optimize the performance of conventional and renewable power plants and water facilities.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner of Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 135,000 employees. www.abb.com

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