Hrvatski Telekom and Kaufland Croatia in Zagreb have installed two fast electric vehicle charging stations within the project "Comprehensive fast-charging corridor network in South East Europe". Two electric charging stations mark the start of the project co-financed by the European Union, which plans to open as many as 69 fast and four ultra-fast e-chargers at a total of 31 locations on corridors across Croatia and Romania. The project lasts until the end of 2020 and its total value is 4.3 million euros.
It is estimated that the e-mobility industry will be worth EUR 5 billion at the European Union level alone in 2020, and will create at least 700,000 new jobs by 2025. The Croatian project alone plans the installation of 16 fast and one ultra-fast charging station on at least six locations. The planned locations are shopping centers, gas stations and similar facilities with easy access to the motorways, and the first project partner is Kaufland Croatia.
"There are more and more users of electric vehicles in Croatia, and tourists as well, who want a fast and accessible charging service for their vehicles wherever they go. Hrvatski Telekom operates more than 50 percent of e-chargers in Croatia, whose use has increased by 100 percent in the past year alone. With this project, our largest regional network of publicly available e-chargers Puni.hr is expanding to the international level, with the goal of creating a complete digital platform for connecting various ICT services and solutions, such as smart parking and connected vehicles. We thank the European Union for co-financing and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy for recognizing the strategic importance of the project“, said Dino Novosel from Hrvatski Telekom.
The largest regional network of e-chargers Puni.hr currently has 105 chargers in 70 Croatian towns and provides 150 charging spots, making more than 50 percent of all publicly available interoperable charging spots in Croatia. Automatic access to stations is possible for more than 50,000 EU electric vehicle users via mobile application PlugSurfing .
The "Comprehensive fast-charging corridor network in South East Europe" project is aimed at providing superior user experience through the implementation of an advanced ICT system that will enable geo-locating of free charging stations, reservation of plugs, authorization, billing and providing the best customer support. It will also enable the design of offer bundles with other digital services, such as smart parking, intermodal car sharing transport offer and/or public transport and other services.
The charging stations are located at the parking lots of two Kaufland branch offices in Zagreb, in Blato, at Jaruščica 6 and in Sloboština at the address Karel Zahradnik Street 16a. Two vehicles can be charged simultaneously, with a total of three different connections. Charging stations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, completely free of charge not only for Kaufland customers, but for all electric car users.
"As an international corporation, Kaufland regularly participates in socially responsible projects. We have decided to do this project because hoping to raise the ecological awareness of our fellow citizens. We want to support all of our customers, who have already decided on an electric vehicle, in this lifestyle and we want to encourage everyone else to think about "greener" transportation options. We are aware of the fact that the infrastructure for electric cars in Croatia still has potential. Therefore, we are extremely happy that this project can help to build this infrastructure" said Marija Franić, Head of Corporate Communications Kaufland.
E-chargers network coverage will enable the development of green e-mobility corridors in Central and South East Europe, and is part of a wider global project for connecting SE Europe countries. The project contributes to the fulfillment of the Europe 2020 Strategy goals, especially in the part defined by the Clean Power for Transport package. In addition to the traditional workplaces required for the development and maintenance of the charging station network, the project encourages employment in the segment of IT system and digital services development.
"The Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure is proud of the outstanding accomplishments that we have been able to realize through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) together with our customers. The Ministry actively participates in the use of available EU funds through all available financial sources, and one of the key instruments that allows us to invest in modern transport infrastructure through the use of EU funds is the just mentioned CEF Instrument. Investments in projects such as the development of fast e-charging network to have a cleaner and more energy efficient urban transport in the near future will certainly have a significant impact on the future development of the Croatian transport network and transport as a whole. There are around one hundred thousand places throughout the European Union where electric vehicles can be charged, and this figure is increasingly affected by Croatia. This project is one of the key drivers for further development of such services for present and future drivers of electric cars. Wishing a successful continuation of this project, we congratulate all those who participated in the preparation and implementation of this project through successful cooperation, synergy and togetherness in work, which will surely result in new development projects, additional EU funds and more efficient and advanced urban transport in Croatia", as stated by The Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure.
As part of the project, the new e-chargers will be installed at locations Varaždin, Karlovac, Delnice, Rijeka, with the aim of covering the Ten-T corridor.