5 European Fast Charging Networks Announce Open Fast Charging Alliance

FEB 12 2017 BY MARK KANE 19

Corri-Door Charging Infrastructure Project Gets Underway In France (SODETREL via AVERE)

Major fast charging networks in Europe are teaming up together in order to make electric vehicle travel in the region more seamless.

Fastned charging station

The recently announced Open Fast Charging Alliance has a goal of  being“a premium network of fast chargers all over Europe”.

The new network consists of:

  • Fastned (The Netherlands)
  • Sodetrel (France)
  • Smatrics (Austria)
  • Grønn Kontakt (Norway)
  • GOtthard FASTcharge (Switzerland)

A roaming system between members is to be implemented within a year, at which point customers will be able to use more than 500 fast chargers in six countries, 24/7.

“Together, the alliance members own and operate more than 500 fast chargers in 6 countries. They operate their networks according to high standards. This includes providing 24/7 customer service, and ensuring maximum network uptime. The alliance is open to other networks adhering to these standards.

The alliance will focus on bilateral roaming agreements between these high quality networks by implementing open standards such as OCPI. The first implementations are planned within the year.”
Hat tip to Brandon!

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19 Comments on "5 European Fast Charging Networks Announce Open Fast Charging Alliance"

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Also this news about future ultra fast fast charge network expansion by Danish fast charge network operator Clever into Europe:

E.ON and CLEVER cooperate on ultra-fast charging e-Mobility

A new strategic partnership between international energy company E.ON and Denmark based e-Mobility service provider CLEVER has been established with the ambition to roll out ultra-fast charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) along main European motorway corridors. The two partners have considerable experience and expertise in building and operating EV infrastructure networks and related services in Northern Europe. The joint ambition of the partners is to now establish several hundred ultra-fast charging locations across Europe. The sites will be placed every 120-180 kilometers along motorways. E.ON and CLEVER invite more partners with the same ambitions to join this effort.


Of interest is the spacing of the proposed ultra fast charge network locations: 120-180 km, which is 72-108 miles.

US fast charge suppliers are you listening?

The ChargePoint Express Plus high speed fast charger is the only multi stall ultra fast (it’s 400 kW) charger like it that’s been announced up to this point, but I expect that many fast charge equipment manufacturers will offer something similar within the year.

Hers a link to the ChargePoint Express Plus fast charger announcement:


400kw you say? Sounds like a rocket fuel for fossils. Fuel is available – none of vehicles can use it.

Mark my words, in the next 1-2 years big changes are coming to the EV world. We are going to look back with a smile on the way things are now and have been the last 5 years since EVs first began to fast charge.

I firmly believe that the way Tesla is today with the range cars and fast charge rates they have will become commonplace for all EVs.

The ChargePoint Express Plus fast charger is a brilliant design that’s future proofed for the next 10 years. It’s also a smart setup with the way the stalls can be configured.

As I commented on the article you linked, the ChargePoint Express Plus is a disappointment — it violates CHAdeMO by not supporting charging at 100V, which is what e-motorcycles need (in fact, it only supports 200V+ while CHAdeMO requires down to 50V).

I may have distracted from this article on the alliance somewhat with my comment about Clever’s Europe expansion plans.

Here in the U.S. we have the ROEV Alliance to help provide roaming between fast charge network operators. It’s been announced for over a year, but nothing of visible progress has happened yet.

Here’s the announcement of the ROEV:


What is “fast” charging in their meaning? Only 40-50kW? Then they’ll probably have to upgrade quite soon…


In UK fast means 7-22kw, anything above that – rapid charging

Well, with bigger batteries and constant electric power things are becoming slower (in the meaning of x to y%)…


“They operate their networks according to high standards. This includes providing 24/7 customer service, and ensuring maximum network uptime.”

In my experience this is true for FastNed in Holland and GoFast in Switzerland, but for Sodetrel in France, where I live, this working standard is not more then a dream for now. Many chargers shown on their maps are not (yet) functional and for the ones that are, uptime is terrible.

Also, for instance FastNed can be used with all the badges of other Dutch charging networks, while Sodetrel is a completely closed system. Even the most widely used badge in France – KiWhi – is not accepted.

I hope this international come-together will force Sodetrel to learn from the others.

Chargers should just take a credit card payment. What’s the point of all these special cards? It needs to be like a gas station, you don’t have a BP or Shell card to unlock the pump.

Take this example. You pull up to the chargers. Swipe your credit card, that opens the menu and advertises the charge rate. This could be $/kW plus maintenance fee, so let’s say $0.1/kW + $2 maintenance fee. If you take 80kw then the charge is $10 ($8+$2). You accept the rate and the charger is unlocked. You get charged $2 and then whatever kW you use.

Simple solution, works on any charger. Easy to have big signs advertising rates like current gas stations.

Speed of charge is not a problem with $/kW rate, and length of stay can be covered by maintenance rate ($/HR or flat rate). This is also a method that councils could use with parking meters. We are already used to paying for a parking meter, just add a charger and the cost of the charge.

Right Jason. Major QC OEMs such as ABB, Efacec, Chargemaster, etc can provide QCs with NFC enabled PayPads that accept Contactless, ApplePay, Samsung Pay, so the QC roaming is only needed for legacy systems, not what can be installed today.

It’s the fees for the credit card terminal and the payments that are the problem.
They are too high nowadays, for a charger that gets on average 10 customers per day for 10$ each.

Chargers should accept NO cards at all.

You should have a something akin to a sim card in your car and all the payment handshaking done over the charging cable.

Why the hell do I have to mess with a card in 2017?

great point, modern EVs are all bragging about their connectivity, no need to add more complications to that

Great to see this! This is exactly what we need to develop true nationwide (or, in Europe, continent-wide) charging networks for BEV long-distance driving.

Now, if these EV charger companies would just start accepting ordinary credit cards for payment! If gas pumps can accept credit cards, why don’t EV fast chargers?

I really don’t get it. Surely these companies are limiting their own sales by requiring a proprietary charge card for their network? Surely they would get more customers if they would accept major credit cards?

Its the CC fee – typically 5% of purchase. Most EV drivers do not want to pay the required price for a station owner to cover costs – they would never agree to any additional fee to cover what the CC takes.

Ordinary credit card fees are high and EMV terminals are expensive. But Contactless and NFC Payments are a different beast. An active NFC PayPad communicates directly with the bank via an NFC Gateway. This is a very inexpensive solution once the hardware is acquired.