Under agreements with Topaz, The Maxol Group and Lindon Limited, a number of fast charge points will be available in services stations along inter-urban routes throughout the summer, enabling drivers to ‘power up’ electric cars from 0 to 80% full in less than 30 minutes.
The first fast charge point opened in Monaghan during the week. It is the first of 30 charging points to be opened around the country. The modern Topaz Service Station in Coolshannagh on the N2 motorway is an ideal location for a fast charge facility as motorists can conveniently charge their electric cars while having a coffee or some hot food. A standard charge point is also available on the site.
Fast charge point launches are planned for Topaz Cashel, followed by a Topaz site in Cork city, a Topaz site in Athlone and another in Cavan by the end of this month. A Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed between ESB e-cars and Topaz for fast charging in a further ten services stations. Standard charge points will also be installed at these locations. Other planned fast charge point installations include Monasterevin, Co Kildare and Navan Co Meath.
This development in infrastructure marks a major milestone in promoting the wider adoption of electric cars in Ireland and allows drivers who travelling longer distances the option of a fast and convenient charging solution.
ESB e-cars 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:
- 30 fast charge points installed
- 1500 public charge points available across Ireland
- 2000 home charge units installed (dependent on e-car sales)
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 e-cars is involved in EU funded electric car projects as well as a number of local electric car pilot projects. In conjunction with ESB e-cars, DIT Kevin Street is studying the electrical characteristics of both fast and standard e-car 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 electricity into high power Direct Current (DC) and are built to the Japanese Chademo standard which was launched in 2010. Because of Irelands leadership role in the area of fast charging, ESB has been nominated to the European Chademo Steering Group.