Dutch fast-charger company Fastned announced it has won a tender for building two large fast-charging plazas with 12 chargers each along the E17 highway in Gentbrugge (Belgium). As a first, Fastned will be able to equip the EV-charging-only resting area with coffee and sandwich shops, restrooms, and a child playground.
The E17 is a crucial highway connecting the Netherlands with France, straight across Belgium, with the two future plazas located on both sides of the highway in the Ghent area. They will feature 400 kW fast chargers, suitable for passengers, EVs, and electric trucks at the same time. The building starts in 2024.
Being able to add other services than charging only is a battle the Dutch company has fought for many years in its homeland. In April 2021, it was allowed, after many years of legal battles in the Netherlands, to install shops and toilets at its charging stations along the highways.
The Dutch government denied Fastned that right for years to protect its contracts with regular fuel stations, in which exclusivity is promised. As the permits to run a fuel station with a shop along the highways are assigned in an auction to the highest bidder, the oil companies claim exclusivity to run shops at their fuel stations.
19 stations in Belgium
The European tender for the Gentbrugge charging plaza was issued by the Flemish AWW road agency (Agentschap voor Wegen en Verkeer), which manages around 7 000 km of regional roads and highways and 7 700 km of cycling paths. Fastned expects to serve up to a thousand EVs of all kinds at the two plazas, allowing it to charge for a 300 km range in less than 15 minutes.
Fastned is currently running 19 fast charging stations in Belgium while prepping 24 locations for more. The Dutch company’s last station opened is located in East Anglia, UK, on the A12 motorway at Martlesham Park & Ride. Fastned counts it as its 250th site in Europe.
The Dutch started rolling out fast charging stations in early 2012 when EVs were still scarce on European roads and are now active in the Nederlands, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Switzerland.
Ready to join the conversation?
You must be an active subscriber to leave a comment.