Finding a charging station when necessary is one of the primary concerns for consumers who are considering buying an electric vehicle. A few months before the launch of the ZOE, Renault has announced that it will install almost 1000 rapid charging stations in Europe.
Their move is being compared to Michelin’s initiative in 1910. At the time, motorists were getting lost because of poorly indicated roads, so Michelin provided 30,000 road signs in France in order to encourage drivers to use cars, equipped with their tires.
Renault, like Nissan, will install rapid charging stations to make up for the gap in charging infrastructure. Renault will provide almost 1000 charging stations that will be installed at the premises of privately owned public spaces, with a majority in France. For example, around 500 stations have been earmarked for the grocery chain, E. Leclerc. In France, this initiative will increase the number of charging stations between 30% to 40%.
“Our job isn’t to install chargers, but someone has to kick-start the market,” Thierry Koskas, head of Renault’s of electric vehicle program, explained to Reuters.
This initiative will set in motion real country-wide coverage in terms of charging infrastructure, which is an important consideration for drivers who want to switch to 100% electric vehicles.
“A new government is now in place [in France] and we believe it’s the right opportunity to explain the reasoning behind deploying the infrastructure,” Thierry Koskas told Reuters. “We will explain that this is a key criteria for the development of electric vehicle usage, and one of the first things that customers ask us about.”
The exact specifications of the charging stations, which will cost less than 5,000 euros ($6,300) each, aren’t currently known. I will have the opportunity to meet Mr Koskas in two weeks’ time and will be able to tell you more after that.