Fortum opened Thursday a test field in front of its Keilaniemi headquarters to test different charging station types for electric vehicles. New fast charging stations decrease the existing charging time (six to eight hours) of electric vehicles to about 15–20 minutes.
An ultra-fast charging station has also been installed in the test field, and when the station becomes available for commercial purposes, it may decrease the charging time of electric vehicles to just five minutes. The fast charging stations installed in Keilaniemi are tested by vehicle importers, among others.
Merja Kyllönen, Minister of Transport, gave a speech at the opening seminar, and the test field was opened by Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo, who himself drives an electric car. ERA, an electric Finnish sports car built by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, was also exhibited at the opening.
“Electric vehicles will be introduced very extensively in Scandinavia during 2012. Together with Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, we have shown that it is already possible to charge an electric vehicle in five to ten minutes. This means that the future is already here,” says Johan Ander, the head of Fortum’s Charge & Drive business.
As part of the development work related to recharging infrastructure, Fortum is introducing a new Charge & Drive concept that provides recharging services of electric vehicles for companies and municipalities. Fortum Charge & Drive is a turnkey solution where Fortum takes care of the installation, electricity, maintenance and fault service of its customer’s charging station. Charging stations with a lock can be installed in indoor and outdoor facilities, and they communicate through GPRS and 3G. The charging stations are conveniently locked and unlocked with a mobile phone. The recharging stations are also available via iPhone where users can download an app from the App Store free of charge. The app is called Charge & Drive.
“A society that uses electric vehicles decreases carbon dioxide emissions, which is important to us. That is why we have developed the Charge & Drive concept. It is one of the most advanced solutions in the market, enabling the easy charging of electric vehicles with a mobile phone,” says Johan Ander. “Charge & Drive has already been introduced in Finland, Sweden and Norway, and it will soon also be introduced in the Baltics.”
The goal of Fortum’s new services and solutions related to electric vehicles is to make it as easy as possible to introduce environmentally sound vehicles. Fortum is preparing for the extensive introduction of electric vehicles by designing and implementing the charging station network and the payment system. Fortum is cooperating closely with the cities of Espoo, Kurikka and Stockholm, and contributes to standardisation work related to the charging of electric vehicles.
Fortum has more than 100 public charging stations in Scandinavia.