Highway areas “reserved” for electric cars? Yes but no

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Dutch charging station operator Fastned will open two new motorway stations in Belgium. Its particularity? They will only be reserved for electric cars. Thermal cars are not welcome. Its opening is scheduled for next year.

Critics of the electric car will have fewer and fewer arguments over the years. The one for recycling has already passed it from the hands of Mercedes and Redwood Materials, while the one for recharging will also be soon. For those who claim that it is easier to refuel instead of plugging in because there are gas stations everywhere you will soon be wrong.

two new areas

Today, many motorway service areas are equipped with fast charging stations. And this should continue to accelerate, while the French government has promised that everyone will be equipped before the end of the semester. While there is still a long way to go, the number of takes is constantly improving over the months, thanks to the arrival of new actors. One thinks in particular of Fastned, which has recently established itself on the motorways in the north and east of France.

But the Dutch company wants to go even further in the coming years. Thus, he has just announced in a press release that he has won a contest to enable two new rest areas in Belgium this time. These will be located on both sides of the E7 motorway, near the city of Ghent, where the Volvo C40 Recharge is assembled.

It is more precisely in the municipality of Gentbrugge where these two stations will be inaugurated, which have a small peculiarity. Indeed, they will only be reserved for electric cars, since no fuel pump will be installed on them. Which may seem surprising, since most charging stations are installed in service stations, as is often the case with Ionity or TotalEnergies.

However, although it will not be possible to refuel, these two motorway service areas will be designed to offer optimum comfort to users. So these areas will not be off-limits to thermal cars, as Fastned France confirmed to us by phone in the morning. Fastned announces that they will be equipped with toilets while it will be possiblebuy coffee and snacks to eat while the car is plugged in.

power record

This shouldn’t last long as both areas will have 12 charging points each, delivering power up to 400 kW. A European record equaled by Circontrol. Belgium thus becomes the second country equipped with these Fastned terminals after the Netherlands. In France, you have to settle for 360 kW, offered by Lidl and Kallista Energy, while the Chinese manufacturer Nio works on 500 kW terminals.

These stations can be used by cars, of course, but also by trucks and will be equipped with photovoltaic panels. On the other hand, the operator does not specify for the moment if these terminals will be equipped with the Autocharge function. Also known as Plug & Charge, this allows you to start charging an electric vehicle without having to identify yourself with a license plate. Ionity already offers this technology, as do BMW, Cupra and Tesla.

The prices should be the same as those already applied in the other 19 stations that are already operational in Belgium, with a kWh charged 0.69 euros. In France, it is currently necessary to count 0.59 euros per kWh. A much higher price than Lidl, which charges only 25 to 40 cents per kWh. However, it is still cheaper than Ionity, where the kWh costs 0.79 euros with power limited to 350 kW. As a reminder, French Fastned terminals deliver up to 300 kW.

The inauguration of the two new Gentbrugge stations is planned for 2024while the company plans to install an additional 24 locations in our neighbors over the next few years.

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