The public charging infrastructure is being given a boost via the ‘Smart Charging, the Brabant approach’ trial project. In the past few years Brabant has managed to take on a position of international leader in the field of electric driving. This is important for the region due to the economic opportunities for the energy and High Tech Automotive Sector. Electric driving is also important from the point of view of emissions reduction. Robust continued development of the charging infrastructure is required to facilitate economic and sustainable growth in electric transport.

Aim of the trial project

The provincial government of Noord-Brabant is supporting the development and roll-out of electric driving via various projects and funds. A high-quality public charging infrastructure is extremely important for the roll-out and forms a focal point for new services and products. The installation and management of public charging stations is also a complex and expensive exercise.

The realisation of public charging infrastructure in the Netherlands has ground to a halt. The consequence is that drivers of electric vehicles, who are also referred to as E-drivers (and whose number is increasing very rapidly) are finding it difficult to charge their vehicles. With the view to retaining Brabant’s leader position, the provincial government of Noord-Brabant and Enexis are investing in the innovation of a lighter, cheaper public charging station. They are not doing so alone. E-drivers, local authorities and the SME sector are all involved in the trial project.

Goals

The provincial authorities and Enexis want the trial project to achieve the following goals:

  • To provide public charging stations for E-drivers in Brabant who do not have space for one at home.
  • To reduce the cost price of a charging station by fifty percent.
  • To streamline the processes from application to the realisation of a charging station.
  • To introduce and test smart charging (prevent network overloading by means of charging control).
  • To test free choice charging (free choice of energy supplier at the charging station).
  • To challenge and facilitate the market to ensure growth towards profitable business cases.

Brabant is about ‘getting things done’. The successes of the trial project are to be directly translated into around 600 charging stations to be installed in various municipalities in Brabant. The provincial government is distributing the stations throughout the regions of Brabant. The provincial government will provide local authorities with information about the application procedures.

Process & Roles

The Brabant approach enables parties to continue accelerating the development of electric driving on the basis of their own individual roles and expertise. In the process, electric vehicles will become a more accepted feature on our streets. The focus will be on E-drivers and the e-driving environment and market parties will be given an opportunity to develop and offer smart services and products.

A key project partner is the local authorities. They allow the installation of the innovative charging stations on municipal land and treat them as provincial government property. In addition, the local authorities process applications from E-drivers for the installation of a charging station near their homes. Within the framework of the trial project, local authorities are working to ensure that the required work processes are organised in the most efficient way possible together with contractors, charging station operators and grid managers.

Grid manager Enexis and the national grid managing knowledge platform ElaadNL contributed knowledge and resources during the project’s first phase (phase A1). A unique aspect of the first hundred charging stations from this phase is the simplified technical design. An adapted grid manager connection and metering make these charging stations cost efficient as regards construction and use. They are equipped with a single charging point.

Within the framework of innovation (cost reduction, smart charging and free choice charging) Enexis is also going to fulfil a major role in phase A2 through the contribution of knowledge and resources. The Brabant SME sector is going to be involved in the innovation and installation process during this phase. The result of phases A1 and A2 is a set of efficient and uniform work agreements. In addition to this the market and grid managers will have proven, functional and minimal requirements for smart charging stations in Brabant.

This will pave the way for the realisation of the final phase (phase B) during which the focus will be entirely on finding and implementing innovative charging and parking services on behalf of E-drivers and residents. The overall objective is to facilitate the sustainable growth of electric transport.