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30
May
2016

Solar energy charging for electric cars: a first for Belgium

The first Solar Fast Charging Station in Belgium is open for business. So how does it work? This revolutionary terminal can recharge electric cars using solar energy... and all in just half an hour!

The Solar Fast Charging Station makes it possible to swap a gasoline fill-up for a sunshine fill-up!

A unique location for an original technology

The location chosen for the first Solar Fast Charging Station in Belgium is the Living Tomorrow center in Vilvorde. Formed in 1995, this company is home to some of today's most unusual and amazing technologies. Its mission is to envision tomorrow's technologies across a multitude of business sectors, including hospitality, health, agriculture, homes and cities. Its ambition is nothing less than to improve our quality of life. What better location then to host the Solar Fast Charging Station, a major leap forward for green mobility in Belgium!

An innovation that delivers so many benefits

The Solar Fast Charging Station looks rather like a carport, with its weatherproof roof constructed from photovoltaic panels. Capable of handling two cars simultaneously, it recharges their batteries in just 30 minutes, and has the potential to deliver a total driving range of between 15,500 and 19,000 miles per year. To achieve this record recharge time, the system is fully integrated, with the recharging technology built directly into the carport, which is itself connected to the mains power grid. The energy generated by the solar panels is injected into the grid, and during charging, the electric vehicle draws power back from the grid via the terminal. Available to use for members of the public, the cost of a full recharge is just a few euros.

Better still, there's plenty to do while waiting for the half an hour needed for a full top-up! There's a 'solar bank' available to recharge electric bikes, smartphones, tablets and other devices, as well as a café area with Internet access.

All the expertise of ENGIE Cofely focused on green mobility

This first for Belgium has been made possible by close collaboration between a series of different partners, including ABB, Mutec, Stradus Infra, Vitaemobility and ENGIE Cofely. This ENGIE Group company is contributing its advanced expertise and electric mobility to all aspects of the project. During the project delivery phase, ENGIE Cofely was responsible for supplying, installing and connecting the high-speed charger, and for designing the recording module and the station billing system. The company will also operate the station for the next 10 years.

The opening of this first station marks an important turning point in green mobility. Inventing cleaner mobility options is clearly essential when you realize that 30% of all CO2 emissions in Europe are generated by road traffic.

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