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One of the major obstacles in the rapid growth of the electric vehicles market is the infrastructure, and more specifically, the wide availability of fast-charging stations. Last December, Tesla updated the Supercharger network map on its website to show its expansion plans for 2017. In North America, Tesla announced new Superchargers in Hawaii and Mexico, and expansions to extend the coverage in the US and Canada that were originally planned for 2016 were pushed to next year.

More stations are also planned for central Europe and France, but expansions in Eastern Europe and along the Mediterranean sea that were originally planned for 2016 have now been pushed to 2017.

50kW DC stations which are part of the
West Coast Express Charging Corridor.
Photo credit: Tony Williams

European automakers are also making a major commitment to developing an ultra-fast charging network that can rival that of Tesla’s Supercharger network. Reuters reports that Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen and American automaker, Ford, plan to build 400 ultra-fast charging stations in Europe that will be capable of power levels triple that of Tesla’s existing fast-charging Supercharger stations.

At the moment, there are more than 72,000 public chargers in Europe but only 5,800 of those are what the International Energy Agency calls “fast” chargers, which means they have 43 kW of power or more. By contrast, a Tesla Supercharger operates at between 120 and 135 kW.

The goal is to install 350 kW charging stations throughout Europe, using the CCS charging standard. Each station is said to approximately €200,000 each. Germany companies Innogy, E.ON and Siemens are involved as well as Portugal’s Efacec.

The new infrastructure will certainly help sell more electric vehicles since range anxiety is still the number one obstacle in the purchase of an EV.
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