EnBW to open Europe's biggest EV fast charging park in fourth quarter

FILE PHOTO: Flags of German power supplier EnBW Energie Baden-Wuertemberg AG are pictured at the company's headquarters in Karlsruhe, March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German utility EnBW on Friday said it plans to open in the fourth quarter what will be Europe's biggest public fast charging park for electric vehicles, where 52 EVs will be able to charge using renewable power.

The park will be located at the Kamener Kreuz motorway intersection in North-Rhine Westphalia and supply renewable electricity to high-power charging points with a capacity of 300 kilowatt (kW) each.

It will allow charging times of five minutes for a range of up 100 kilometres (62.14 miles).

"The Kamen location is the next step in fast charging, after we have been putting a new fast charging location into operation every day for more than a year," said Timo Sillober, Chief Sales and Operations Officer at EnBW, a mostly public sector-owned power utility that has developed EV-related activities.

Power for the park's operations will come from newly-built photovoltaic modules, although that solar energy will not be enough to meet all the charging needs.

EnBW aims to operate 2,500 fast-charging sites in Germany by 2025, a number that exceeds any oil major company's German petrol station fleet.

It has developed mobility access contracts for drivers who can make purchases at EnBW-operated sites interchangeable with other vendors' charging points via mobile apps.

Financial details of the project were not disclosed.

EnBW has 5.5 million customer accounts for the provision of power, gas and water, as well as energy services.

Germany launched a 3 billion euro ($3.62 billion) scheme in November to extend consumer rebates for buying electric vehicles and wallbox chargers, and supporting programmes for scrapping old vehicles and investing in innovation.

The growing number of publicly-accessible charging points will ease concerns about using EVs and allow for value-added business opportunities around the sites, analysts say.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Barbara Lewis)

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