Travel time of 5 km, increasing nervousness and stress from whether I can easily and, most importantly, find the nearest charging station in time. A situation experienced by anyone who proudly claims to have ever driven an electric car. However, similar attacks on the nervous system of ČEZ customers from the ranks of e-mobilists are already three months in the past. Drawing energy from the network of public ČEZ charging stations definitely shifted to the 21st century six months ago, when the FUTUR/E/GO application started operating.
Without exaggeration, the driver has all the practical information related to charging in a single place and in a few seconds. Number one in the hit parade of the most popular services that the application offers, according to the assumptions, belongs to navigation to stations, determination of their occupancy and price for charging.
The application, which will be gradually supplemented with other smart and useful functions, not only informs drivers, but also educates them. A significant decrease in the occupancy of charging stations by unruly drivers of other electric cars was achieved thanks to the deployment of a new function. It charges drivers two Czech korunas for each additional minute spent at charging station after a certain period of time or when the car's battery capacity is filled.
The e-car driver can find out directly from the comfort of his car, in particular:
- where the nearest charging stations are and the travel time,
- whether some of the connectors on the stations are occupied by other electric cars, or unavailable for technical reasons, in order to minimize any waiting,
- how often and at what hours the stations on his planned route are occupied and, accordingly, effectively plan his charging,
- all online information about his current charging (type of charging, selected tariff and price for energy consumed so far) directly from the comfort of his car,
- summary information about all consumptions, including the place, time or the total price for the energy consumed.
“The massive increase in new registrations of electric cars in the Czech Republic also saw the number of our customers doubling in the first half of the year alone. In simple terms, we can say that out of a total of 5,000 registered electric cars, half of them regularly draw energy at our stations”, recapitulates Tomáš Chmelík, ČEZ Clean Technology Section Manager.
In 2017, the number of e-cars in the Czech Republic increased by 400 cars, a year later - by 725 electric cars, last year by 789 electric cars, and this year until the end of October by 1,919 electric cars. Estimates of further development speak of annual sales in the order of thousands of electric cars and plug-in hybrids.
“The network of ČEZ stations, the largest in the Czech Republic, will grow to a thousand stands within five years, which is five times the current number. The new system is already designed in advance to handle the operation of such a network. This all thanks to the background in the form of a comprehensive solution for managing the charging infrastructure, led by a top IT back-end system. At the same time, we came up with a change in the product offer for charging, which is based on a quartet of tariffs for registered customers and one for unregistered ones. We estimate that the volume of electricity consumed in our network will exceed 2.5 million kWh this year, despite the slow-down caused by the epidemiological situation. This is, for example, the equivalent of 70,000 full recharges of a middle-class electric car or also “fuel” for 490 trips around the world”, adds Tomáš Chmelík.
Customers can continuously change the selected tariff if the existing one no longer suits them or is not tailored to their needs, frequency of use of stations, etc.
The acquisition and implementation of the new FUTUR/E/GO system, as well as the construction of a part of the network of public fast charging stations, are financed thanks to a grant from the European programme CEF (Connecting Europe Facility), in whose challenges ČEZ has repeatedly succeeded in the past. The European Commission thus supports the interconnection of Europe by constructing charging stations along the main TEN-T road network. At the same time, ČEZ also expands its network using its own resources and the resources of the Transport Operational Programme. For more, visit http://www.elektromobilita.cz/cs/mapa-dobijecich-stanic.html.
The Driivz platform for comprehensive management of the network of public charging stations and customer service is adapted for cooperation with more than 130 types of globally used charging stations. It was created at the workshop of the ambitious start-up company Driivz. Since last year, the venture capital fund Inven Capital from the ČEZ Group has held a minority stake in it; the fund focuses primarily on growth investment opportunities in technology companies in the more advanced stage of development.