One of the reasons car buyers are hesitant to purchase an electric vehicle is the lack of charging stations within arm’s reach. If you’re headed on a long road trip anywhere in the world, the odds of finding a route with accessible stations every time you need one are slim to none. The Netherlands is working to change that for drivers, with a new plan that will place 200 EV charging points along Dutch roads.
Startup company Fastned is behind the project, which will make sure that by 2015, Dutch drivers will always be within 50 miles of a “fast” charging station. The canopies over the stations actually look like a single golden McDonald’s arch, making them easy to spot from a distance.
Solar panels will cover the stations, which will generate the electricity to charge vehicles. There will be four to eight charging points at each location, and customers can expect to be back on the road in 30 minutes or less. Drivers will have the option of an annual or lifetime subscription, and two charging systems will be available to help determine what will become standard as more drivers switch to EVs.
As of right now, only 1% of drivers in the Netherlands are in an EV, but some local automotive professionals are predicting that number to reach 5% or 10% by 2020.
The Netherlands may be the perfect place to try out a system like this, possibly serving as an example for how it can be done in larger countries. Perhaps we will see it sprawl across entire continents as more customers choose electric vehicles and reduce their dependency on gas stations. As we’ve reported recently, Tesla has a similar plan for the United States, but for Tesla cars only.
Fastned might want to offer some road trip snacks at these stations if they really want to entice customers to take the plunge. Do you think it will be a hit? Where else would you like to see a system like this put in place?