ABB has been tapped to build 200 fast charging stations in the Netherlands that should be fully deployed by 2015 with initial deployment this fall. The graphics suggest that these will indeed be fast charging with the ability to do a charge in anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Stations will be spaced 50 kilometers apart along major highways.
This will be an interesting test case because the Netherlands is so small. It’s just 101 miles wide with a vertical length of 162 miles for a total square mile area of about 13,000, which is less than a tenth of California. What we’ll learn from the deployment is whether this solves the road trip range anxiety phenomenon among consumers, taking away one more reason that some consumers choose not to buy an EV. If there are charging stations every 50 kilometers there’s very little chance of getting stuck out there. But the key question is whether drivers will deal with the inconvenience of having to pull over for a charge. In eco-conscious Netherlands where gas prices can be double what they are in the U.S., we should get some good data about whether the highway charging system is viable.