Ever since I started driving an electric car, I've been surprised by just how little I need or care about having a charging network available to me. But I have a driveway. And a second car. For the one-car families and/or those who live in apartments, a reliable charging network would go a long way toward making electric cars a more attractive and practical option.
In the Netherlands, just such a network is already emerging. Fastned has already built 50 beautiful solar-powered chargers and they are aiming for 200 in the very near future. Robert Llewellyn of Fully Charged paid one charging station a visit, and he chatted with company founder Bart Lubbers about their plans for the future.
A few points worthy of note:
- The solar panels create enough charge for about three cars. The rest comes from a contract with wind power generators.
- The charging stations are built with expansion in mind. The one in the video currently has two chargers, but there's room for six more.
- Fastned offers several pricing options and plans, including monthly fees and lower Kwh rates for people charging regularly, and no monthly fee but higher Kwh rates for people needing to charge only occasionally.
Lubbers also shares that the company eventually plans to add shops/coffee shops/bathroom facilities etc. This really does look like a smart approach to electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Now I kind of wish we had something like this in my neighborhood, even though I don't really need it...