Four Ionity superchargers near Brussels ring road
At the ‘innovation campus’ Living Tomorrow near the Brussels ring road in Vilvoorde, four Ionity 350 kW superchargers have been installed. The ultimate target is to have a supercharger every 25 km along the most crucial Flemish traffic axes.
The superchargers were inaugurated by the Flemish Mobility Minister, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), and Vilvoorde’s Mayor, Hans Bonte. The chargers are open to the public and, depending on the car you drive in, one can have a ‘refill’ in 15 minutes.
“The deployment of better and faster charging infrastructure is the cornerstone of our electric mobility policy,” said Peeters. “We want to have a fast-charger every 25 km on our important Flemish roads. So we’re delighted to be the guest at Living Tomorrow. This innovation campus leads the way, certainly in an important region regarding mobility like this ‘Vlaamse Rand’ (Flemish border around Brussels).
For ‘Living Tomorrow’, the fast-chargers are the first step to becoming a ‘Hoppin point‘ (a transport hub) in the future. A futuristic tower is being built on the campus, which will also be the mobility hub for the ‘Ringtrambus’ public transport, the bike highway toward the city center, and a ‘drone port’ with a possible connection to Brussels Airport.
“We have worked out a plan together with the city of Vilvoorde and the province of Flemish Brabant to create mobility possibilities of the future,” says Joachim De Vos, CEO of Living Tomorrow. “Our innovation campus wants to be an interesting hub for sustainable mobility, also toward or from the inner city. E-bikes or pedelecs will also become available.”
“Such Hoppin points, assembling different transport solutions, are an important part of our mobility strategy,” adds Minister Peeters. “We want to have more than 1 000 of them throughout Flanders. I appreciate that Living Tomorrow is our partner here.
Smart city Vilvoorde
“It’s not just a coincidence that this scoop is happening on the Vilvoorde territory,” says mayor Bonte. “A few years ago, the first Flemish ‘mobipunt’ was installed at the railway station, and soon the first Hoppin point will be opened at the Vuurkruisenlaan. This has to promote the use of public transport and bike-sharing.”
“A new mobility point at Living Tomorrow will play a central role in developing the new mobility network expanding between Brussels Airport and the city center. With plenty of attention for ‘soft’ mobility, public transport, and electric driving. The ‘floating’ bike highway and the Ringtrambus passing here are of key importance. We’re proud to evolve into a ‘smart city’.
Ionity and ABB
Ionity is the fast EV-charging network created in 2017 as a joint venture by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Volkswagen Group, Ford, and (recently joining) Hyundai Group. It has been criticized recently for being too unambitious and is looking for additional investors.
Several CEOs of the partners showed their impatience recently with the pace things are moving on and eventually the service that is being offered. Most recently, the association of European car manufacturers ACEA (of which BMW CEO Oliver Zipse is the actual president) has warned about a charging infrastructure in Europe that won’t fulfill the needs of a fast-growing community of EVs.
The technology of the fast-chargers comes from technology company ABB, which has just claimed to have developed the world’s fastest electric charger called Terra 360 (referring to the 360 kW loading capacity).
ABB has provided so-called white-labeled chargers up to 350 kW for some years now to charging networks like Fastned and Ionity. Customers can ‘brand’ the chargers to their liking and choose to include a 27″ advertisement screen to play video and pictures.