For too long and still neglected today by decision-makers and actors concerned or impacted by electric mobility, fast charging is nevertheless an essential link in the ecosystem. An association bringing together users of electric cars, AcoZE France provides advice in a study based on a questionnaire sent to its members.
“The current network is insufficient. Certain axes and entire areas of the territory are not served by fast charging at all. This creates non-passable areas for some drivers, “recalls AcoZE France in the introduction to its twenty-page document.
The inventory drawn up by the association corresponds faithfully to what any connected traveler has seen in the field: most often undersized stations with only one terminal and no back-up solution; difficult to locate (lack of signage); seriously lacking maintenance with terminals that have been out of service for a long time; lawless, illegible, unpredictable and often unfair pricing; difficulty paying with a bank card; need to have several means of payment; lack of on-road chargers; etc.
A network to reinvent
This list explains that many motorists do not dare to switch to the electric car, and that many electromobilians recoil at the idea of traveling long distances. If fast-charging stations are little used, it is not because of low needs, but of an accumulation of dissuasive effects which turn into a call to avoid them.
In addition to solving all these problems, the members of AcoZE France are hoping for closer fast-charging stations, equipped as a priority with 50 kW tri-standard terminals (43 kW AC, Combo CCS and CHAdeMO) designed to refuel in energy several electric cars simultaneously, located in interesting and useful areas (services in particular WC, shops, restaurants, tourist points, etc.).
Terminal constructors and manufacturers
In order to overcome the inefficient fast-charging grid, AcoZE France calls on manufacturers to offer their electric vehicles, either as standard or as an option, three-phase 11 or 22 kW chargers which will make it possible to use the multitude of terminals installed. in the territories.
Electromobilers, in particular through their user associations, could be consulted during the design phases of stations and terminals. This is done in order to avoid a multitude of various presentations that interfere with their use.
For next year, AcoZE France and its members wish to reestablish recharging on motorways with a high level of availability. For example, the old Corri-Door stations would be fitted out with four 50 kW tri-standard terminals. White areas outside of highways would disappear and rapid charging would be ensured around major urban centers.
Between 2021 and 2023, the association of electric vehicle users imagines that the network of 50 kW charger will be finalized around major axes and in the heart of large urban areas. At the same time, a first phase of installation of 100-175 kW terminals would be completed on strategic routes.
In the longer term, the ultra-fast recharging network would be improved according to needs (increase in power and chargers). The architecture of stations on motorway and / or rest areas would benefit from being rethought for an intelligent distribution of power and use options. Access without having to badger (Plug & Charge) would be developed. In addition, sites to accommodate heavy goods vehicles would emerge on routes for which there is no modal shift solution.
In its study, AcoZE France worked on other concrete points. Thus a new sign to indicate the places dedicated to recharging, a totem to announce on the motorway the number of terminals in service on the next areas encountered (idem oil tanker stations), several proposals for the evolutionary integration of chargers on the sites and arrangement of connectors in station.
In areas accommodating more than 10,000 vehicles per day, a typical charging station would include, for example, 6 chargers of 50 kW and 4 of 100 kW of power, not counting the AC standby terminals (7 or 22 kW). Shades are essential here. They would preserve the readability of LCD screens, reduce heating at terminals and vehicles, and protect motorists from the rain.
The distribution of charging equipment was devised after various calculations of the average use of motorways at different times of the day.
In case of problems
Members of the association were also asked about the maximum response time to repair faulty terminals, with penalties for non-compliance. To resolve the famous case of network connectivity failure that prevents the use of RFID badges, the stations could switch to payment by credit card, and, failing that, allow free recharging without identification.
In the event of failure in use, the hardware must free the user’s cable. Finally, recovery and towing trucks on the highways should carry fast chargers to reach the next station.
The locations dedicated to recharging would benefit from being monitored, both to discourage attacks, but also to punish the drivers of suction cup cars who illegally occupy them.
Other points discussed
The members of AcoZE France were also questioned on the prices, the possible payment methods, the integration of charging stations in various applications with geolocation function, the possibility of reserving a place, the other services offered in the resort ( tire inflation, 4G connectivity for professionals), etc.
Find out more: download the Acoze study