Estonia just launched the world’s first nationwide EV fast-charging network with chargers placed in every town, village, and along highways. The installation of 165 fast chargers began in summer 2012 to service 650 all-electric vehicles currently listed in the country’s traffic register. EV users can charge batteries to 90 percent in less than 30 minutes, paying between 2.5 and 5 euros per charge.
The EV fast-charging network is operated by the Estonian Credit and Export Guarantee Fund Kredex, while the chargers were produced by a technology company ABB and strategically placed along highways at a minimum distance of 40 to 60 km. Drivers can choose different paying options: a single charge can vary between 2.5 and 5 euros, but a monthly 30 euro fee will net unlimited charges throughout the country. A single charge takes less than 30 minutes and, depending on the model, allows for a 140 km drive.
The Estonian government is convinced that a nationwide EV charger grid will encourage growth in the number of EV users. “The fact that recharging is so easy is one of the main reasons more and more Estonians will decide in favor of electric cars in future,” said Estonia’s Minister of the Environment, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, in a statement.