Fastned Fast Charges The Netherlands – Never More Than 31 Miles From A Fast Charger

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 29

Fastned Station

Fastned Station

As USA Today points out:

“By the end of 2016, Dutch residents will be able to use 201 fast-charging stations in a country that’s a tenth the size of California, and users will never be more than 31 miles away from a station.”

FastNed Quick Charging Network In Netherlands

FastNed Quick Charging Network In Netherlands

The quick-charge station build out in the Netherlands comes courtesy of Fastned.  Michiel Langezaal, co-founder of Fastned, stated:

“We want to give electric vehicle drivers real freedom to go anywhere.  Public initiatives often focus first on the needs of the electrical grid, secondly on the needs of the planet and then on the consumer.  We’re doing it the other way around. We’re asking, ‘What would the driver want?’ first.”

If you’re never more than 31 miles from a fast charger, then that “real freedom to go anywhere” becomes real.

USA Today continues:

“To date, it’s also the most populated country to build such a dense network: Japan’s is vastly scattered, Estonia’s is smaller and Norway uses slower chargers. But what makes the Dutch project unique is that it’s a privately funded collaboration between Fastned and ABB, a charger manufacturer.”

But it’s a costly project.  That’s for sure.  According to USA Today, each of the 201 Fastned sites cost $270,000 to build.  That works out to $55 million-ish all in, of which somehow Fastned pays only $5.5 million or so, according to USA Today.

Fastned charges $137 per month for use of its stations or around $14 per full charge.  So far, only 9 stations are operational and Fastned is losing lots of money.  Fastned believes that once 50 stations are in operation and usage grows, the loses will turn into profits, but that remains to be seen.

In ther Netherlands, the 2020 goal is to have 200,000 EVs on the road. As Langezaal states:

“If these [200,000 EVs] come to charge at least once a week in a Fastned station, we’ll make roughly a 100 million in revenue a year.”

Fastned takes the long-term approach and remains hopeful that EVs sales continue to follow the upward trend.  For Fastned, the money invest today should result in high profits by the end of the decade, but if electric vehicle sales somehow manage to decline, then Fastned’s investment may never pay off.

It’s risk versus reward.  Fastned is willing to take on the risk in hope of BIG rewards.

Source: USA Today

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29 responses to "Fastned Fast Charges The Netherlands – Never More Than 31 Miles From A Fast Charger"

  1. Mikael says:

    Estonia isn’t smaller. It has a smaller population but is larger.

    1. Brian says:

      The article says “Estonia’s is smaller” as in their fast charger network is smaller…

      1. Mikael says:

        True 🙂

  2. Four DC fast charging stalls per station, and each station having a solar canopy … is far superior to single-stall DCFC sites more common elsewhere.

    The four charging stalls provide predictable availability and reliability. Besides station level redundancy, the network provides further redundancy via station spacing allowing for alternative routes should a station have high demand, go down for maintenance. The only other charging network that compares is Tesla’s Supercharger network.

    1. Nelson says:

      “The only other charging network that compares is Tesla’s Supercharger network.”

      Yes but the Tesla Supercharger network is FREE.

      NPNS! SBF!
      Volt#671

      1. Mikael says:

        Not free. Just prepaid.

    2. Suprise Cat says:

      Typical solar fraud. Panels are installed in complete senseless angles and not orientated to south and even shadowed by surrounding trees.

      Solar is just a scam to rip off the population.

  3. Brian says:

    “If these [200,000 EVs] come to charge at least once a week in a Fastned station, we’ll make roughly a 100 million in revenue a year.”

    This is a wildly flawed assumption in my experience. Most EV charging is at home, and charging on the road is required more like once per month. I don’t know the situation in the Netherlands, but here in the US this assumption would never pan out in practice.

    That said, as a driver, I long for a dense quick-charging network. I would happily pay the monthly $137 fee (at least at first) to be able to ditch the ICE completely. But in the long term, that needs to come way down.

    I love the concept, but I fear that it will follow the fate of the Better Place concept. Tesla’s model of building chargers to sell cars seems to be the most likely one to survive long term.

    1. yuba says:

      As also explained below, I think you are wrong. I am driving an EV for 2 years now (and so does my girlfriend) and our experience is that indeed we use a DCFC around 1-2 times per week.

      Many people we know, who have EV’s also use a DCFC at least once a week. So i think the Fastned metrics do work out.

      Last year I attended a presentation in Europe about the Estonia project, which had the results over the first year of operation, i think the average DC charger usage per person was something like 1,5 times per week on average. And that bwas a real life figure, no projection

      1. Brian says:

        Points taken. As I said, I don’t know the situation in Europe. Honestly, I don’t know what QC usage would be because there are exactly zero QCs within 100 miles of me. I guess I can see using them once a week if the network was really that dense and dependable. It still seems high to spread that over every single EV driver in the country. For every driver that only uses the network once a month, you would need a driver who used it almost twice a week.

        As for the price, I too would be willing to pay it. But I don’t know if that will be true for every EV driver in the Netherlands…

  4. Surya says:

    They promised to open 2 stations a week every week this year. I’m afraid they’re way behind. Their map doesn’t indicate any stations under construction for the moment, but it has the promise of starting construction on a bunch of them in September.
    I wish them the best. Their plan is ambitious and risky and it will be hard to pull of, but I hope to see these stations everywhere soon.

  5. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    “Fastned charges $137 per month for use of its stations or around $14 per full charge.”

    That’s nearly $1/kWh for their pay-per-kWh. That’s unconscionable highway robbery. You’d need to charge 800kWh/mo for the unlimited to make any rational sense.

    Methinks these guys need to build out, then go bankrupt and let the successor company get the assets for 25 cents on the dollar, then they can charge a rational amount for power.

    1. Brian says:

      This is a good argument for why a privately funded build out by an independent company is very likely to fail. The hardware is expensive, but the energy dispensed is cheap (and available much cheaper elsewhere, albeit much slower).

      Two other models make much more sense to me:
      1) Publicly funded. The Government funds the hardware and installation, and then collects fees to pay for electricity. They don’t have to make a profit per se, but one would hope that once the hardware is in the ground, the fees cover the energy and maintenance.
      2) Tesla’s Model. Install the network to encourage sales of your cars. Owners “buy in” to the network with a one-time $2k fee, and thereafter have free access to electricity.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        What’s dumb about this system is in the US the Charger systems are offering unlimited Charging plans for $20 dollars a month. These people could at least offer it at $50 dollars month.Or they could offer it by the charging secession.

        At over a $130 that is about the same or more then I pay for gas for my regular gas powered car. Who ever thought of this pricing system is a moron.

      2. Chris O says:

        Agreed. I think the sort of money Fastnet needs to charge proves that the Tesla is model is the only viable way to create a comprehensive network at this point.

        Maybe someday when EVs are ubiquitous and can be recharged in 5-10 minutes these fastchargers can handle the sort of traffic every day that makes them economical to operate but for now I don’t see much of a future for Fastnet’s concept.

      3. yuba says:

        I think you are wrong. I would be happy to pay this price in order to have access to a fast charging station once a week, as I would charge at home 90% of the time, at a low price.
        So on average my EV driving cost would be much lower than my petrol driving cost.
        I would be happy to pay for the freedom to have a DCFC every 31 miles, and not having to plan trips!

        My last two years of experience in the Leaf shows that indeed I would probably use the fast charger 1-2 times per weeks, so seems to me their metrics work.

        Nice initiative!

    2. The fee at $137/mo, is $1644/year.

      For 12,000 miles per year is ~14¢/mile, or ~20¢/mile for 8000/year. IPricing may be a barrier for someone traveling infrequently beyond the home range with a PEV.

      FYI: A fixed price per month will be great value to a taxi-driver with a Model S.

      1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        This assumes you go out of your way to charge at those chargers all the time, rather than plug in at home. If you home charge for 80% of your power, then those per-kWh fees go up by 5x, to 70 cents/mile. Even in Europe, that’s no better than ~15mpg equivalent.

        1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          Also, a taxi driver with a Model S would have Supercharger access for $0/kWh power, and would need an expensive converter dongle to hook up to this net.

    3. Suprise Cat says:

      I would rather wait 6 hours and charge with Schuko plug, than paying 0.69 €/kWh.

  6. Jouni Valkonen says:

    It would be cheaper to build if there was not a fares collector. E.g. Tesla superchargers costs just about $30 000 + grid connection.

    This is the reason why EV chargers should be free to use. Collecting fares from charging is just annoying and inefficient and it is a reminiscence from 20th centry when people used pay from gasoline.

    If EV chargers were free, we could have a slow charging point in every street light pole with total installation costs some $30 per charging point.

    1. Spec9 says:

      You have to have some payment or else someone will abuse the system. They’ll just start sucking out electricity for use at home.

  7. Sam C says:

    I think California should do the same thing instead of wasting money on speed rail!

    1. Spec9 says:

      Yeah, can’t we do this in California? At least in the SF Bay, LA, and San Diego areas?

    2. Ocean Railroader says:

      California is already doing something like this if you look at the Plug Share website several new DC fast chargers pop up in the state and in their cities every few weeks.

      Also what’s even cooler then this is that the Sheetz gas stations in Pennsylvania have built a 300 mile Charging system of DC Fast Chargers for Nissan leafs and Mitsubishi-mievs from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to Lancaster Pennsylvania. These new chargers are operated by a credit card with no charge card needed. It’s like they came on here and copped one of my ideas which I’m glad they did. Also charging is like $5.00 ti $7.00 bucks for a DC Fast Charge.

      The thing about EV Fast Chargers is that privet industry could built them without government support.

      The high speed rail is different in that they are trying to take cars off the road so they don’t fight for space on highway space they don’t have. EV’s try to make cars cleaner but don’t take car space off the road.

  8. zoe-driver says:

    They support both Fast Charging Methods defined by EU-Parlament

    1.) AC 43kw
    2.) DC 50kw CCS

    AND the Japan
    3.) DC 50kw CHAdeMO

    Thats great, to charge the Renault ZOE with 43kw AC in 30 Minutes.

    Greetings

    1. GSP says:

      Thanks Zoe-driver. With four chargers per station and support for all three DC fast charge plug types this will be a robust network that drivers can count on.

      Meanwhile, in the US we are lucky if we have a few stations with only one CHAdeMo charger each. Installed with government funds, you can almost count on the one charger you need being out of order.

      GSP

  9. QCO says:

    It’s hard to avoid the basic economics of public charging, which has a very high capital cost and a very low dispensed product cost.

    It’s virtually impossible to cover the capital costs with margins from selling electricity, especially when many people will only use it intermittently given that it is both cheaper and more convenient to charge at home for the majority of use.

    Therefore the capital cost has to be covered using some other method, such as:
    1) Built into the price of the car (like Tesla)
    2) Government funded through taxes, either general or EV specific
    3) A one time up front system access charge

    Although an up front charge could be financed, there is no way a monthly charge works economically for John Q Public, when that charge is more than he/she would have paid for gas to run an ICE car that costs less in the first place. And he/she still has to pay for the actual electricity used, both at home and at a station (although Tesla waives that charge since it is a closed system that prevents people from charging up and running their house on the car).

    Can’t see it working any other way than building it into the price of the car. Funding through Government taxes might be viable in Europe or Canada, but is not a favored approach in the US these days.

  10. Red HHR. says:

    I like the Golden Arches. Billions and Billions served.