NETHERLANDS. Picture of the week | Equans gives charging station electric cars a second life

With the first major acquisition contracts, thousands of public charging stations in various Dutch cities will be replaced. Technical service provider Equans has found a way to give these charging stations a second life.

Replacement contract

‘The first thought when considering the replacement contract for these charging stations was: how can we do this as circularly as possible?’, says Aïsha Mientjes, Innovation & Sustainability manager at Equans’ E-Mobility department. “Due to new standards and specifications, the charging stations cannot be placed back in public spaces. Overhaul and deployment for other customers turned out to be the solution.’

Together with the social work company Refurn, Equans developed a revision process. “After the charging stations have been removed from the field, they will go to our partner Refurn in Apeldoorn,” explains Jochanan van der Lek, CSR & Environment advisor at Equans. ‘Once there, they first get a thorough cleaning and check-up. If everything still works well, the piles are given a new powder coating, they are upgraded and tested extensively. If the housing is in a poor condition, Refurn disassembles the charging station and collects the components. We then include these in our stock for our own maintenance. Powder coating can be done with a smooth or embossed powder. The latter better masks possible imperfections from the “previous life” of the pole. Although some customers think that’s the charm.’

First copies

The charging stations can be used in many places after overhaul. For example, for commercial parking lots, company charging stations, educational institutions and course/training centers, organizations with their own fleet of vehicles and temporary charging points at project locations. Mientjes: ‘We placed the first specimens in our own car park and tested them. This way we can be sure of the quality and reliability.’

According to Jochanan, the use of the overhauled piles is not only a sustainable solution. “We offer customers a robust charging station of a high quality, at less than half the new price. In addition, the delivery time, with only a few months, is short and there is no minimum order. Finally, through Refurn and their partner Milieuwerk in Amsterdam, we create employment for people who are distanced from the labour market