Sint-Pieters-Leeuw inaugurates Flanders’ largest fast-charging plaza

On Wednesday, Flemish Minister for Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) officially inaugurated Flanders’ largest plaza with fast-charging stations in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw (Flemish Brabant).

The 18 fast-charging stations are located in Shopping Pajot’s parking lot in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, a popular shopping location with 24 stores. So, 18 electric cars can simultaneously recharge their batteries in half an hour while the car owners have the time to go shopping or enjoy a light lunch.

The chargers are exploited by Smappee, a Courtrai-based technology company, and use 100% green energy that is produced on-site by solar panels on the roofs of Shopping Pajot’s shopping center. The chargers are smartly controlled to prevent grid overload, taking into account the driver’s needs.

“We use smart batteries that can store energy when it is cheap and release it when necessary at more expensive times,” Smappee explains. “Thanks to our technology, we can apply a dynamic price setting. At times when there is a surplus of electricity, charging will be cheaper.” The operator adds that all car brands and all types of charging cards are welcome.

Green energy produced on-site

Surprisingly enough, this largest fast-charging plaza in Flanders is not immediately situated next to a highway but in the shopping center’s parking lot. Smappee CEO Stephan Grosjean explains: “We choose highly frequented locations where we can also generate green energy on-site.”

“Today, around 1.3 million customers visit Shopping Pajot by car every year,” explains RVM Retail, owner of Shopping Pajot. “We hope that this new charging plaza will enable even more people to discover Shopping Pajot so that we can evolve toward 1.5 million visitors annually.”

Expansion

Flanders wants to have 35,000 public charging stations in Flanders by 2025 to accelerate the energy transition to electric driving. After opening the first and largest Smartstop in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Smappee intends to open similar fast-charging plazas at around fifty other locations in Flanders this year.

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