As electric car sales boom around the world, so too does the need for effective ways to keep their batteries charged and their tires rolling. In the Netherlands, a cool solar-powered option could be leading the way for EV charging networks in other countries. Fastned already has 51 attractive solar-powered EV charging stations and plans to expand its network to include 200 locations in the Netherlands alone.
Unlike some EV charging networks (ahem, Tesla), the Fastned stations in the Netherlands are not free for drivers to use. Rather, the company operates on a monthly subscription model which requires customers to pre-register in order to buy electricity on demand at one of its solar-powered canopy-shaped charging stations. Last month, the company rolled out a new fast charge option in Amsterdam for EV drivers in a rush, which costs 19 cents per kWh plus a recurring monthly fee.
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The electricity that flows through Fastned’s chargers and into the green vehicles that visit comes from solar panels on the canopy’s roof (which can charge three cars) as well as wind power obtained through a contract with a third party provider.
Fastned offers a range of membership packages depending on the frequency of charging services a driver might need. Plans for regular users come with a small monthly fee and a low rate for charging, while infrequent users can opt to pay a higher rate while waiving the monthly fee. Fastned founder Bart Lubbers told Fully Charged that it will someday add other amenities to its charging stations, which would make them look more like fancy rest stops in America, complete with restrooms and fast food options.
Images via Fastned