NETHERLANDS. 35,000 new public charging points in Noord-Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht

Over the next four years, a maximum of 35,000 public charging points will be added in the provinces of Noord-Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht. To this end, MRA-Electric has issued a tender for 74 municipalities. Shell ubitricity, Vattenfall InCharge and TotalEnergies will install, manage and operate the charging stations. The first piles can be on the street as early as mid-2024. “If all goes well, the number of electric cars will continue to grow in the coming years,” explains Jeroen Olthof, deputy of the province of North Holland.

“With this joint tender, we are prepared for that growth. The award goes to three parties that have also taken a good look at how the new generation of charging stations should function and look like,” says Olthof. The charging stations on the street must be used properly. The installation of charging stations is therefore done at the request of electric drivers. Even if the data shows that a charging station is busy, charging stations are placed nearby.

The three winners of the concession distinguish themselves with their ideas for the functionality and design of the charging station, among other things. A new charging station that takes up less space and fits into the streetscape. Municipalities have the option to choose a specific colour. Thanks to grid-aware charging, grid congestion is taken into account.

Smart charging

Smart charging is standard at these new public charging stations. This means that charging is mainly done when it is quieter on the electricity grid, at times when a lot of green electricity (solar or wind energy) is generated and the electricity price is low. This happens automatically, so the e-driver doesn’t have to notice anything. Thanks to smart charging, the charging session is shifted to a more favorable time: for example, from the evening to the middle of the night. All three charging station operators allow the e-driver to benefit from this through variable charging rates, which makes the e-driver cheaper.

Net-aware charging

The tender also anticipated grid congestion. As with fast chargers (which require a heavy grid connection), the pressure on the grid also plays a role at regular charging stations. The new charging stations are suitable for ‘grid-conscious charging’. Together with the grid operators, the grid-aware charging guide was presented at the end of 2023 to solve bottlenecks on the grid. In those places on the grid where the demand for electricity is just too high, the charging station operators can then temporarily reduce the capacity of the charging stations.

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