Anatomy of a charging station
Today, there are three types of charging stations.
Slow to fast charging stations. Locations: at private homes, in protected public car parks and company fleet car parks. Powered by single or three-phase alternating current (AC), their power can vary from 3.7 kW to 22 kW. This is the most basic solution (low investment, installation, maintenance), but such a station requires the longest charging time: from 3h to 24h, depending on the type of vehicle.
Roadside charging stations. The same as the previous ones, but adapted to the street (stronger shell, possibility of payment, etc.)
High-powered super chargers. Locations: motorway service areas, petrol stations, charging hubs. Dedicated to rapid to ultra-rapid DC charging to provide power from 50kW to 350kW. Short charging time: 15 minutes for a passenger vehicle, based on a 150 kW charger. This type of station will be used in the ultra-rapid charging hubs that will replace service stations. The investment for the operator is much more substantial. "These stations require high electrical power, up to 300kW per charging point, multiplied by 4 in some hubs, which requires a dedicated power supply point and electrical transformer," explains Bogdan Calinescu, EV Charging Development Director at EQUANS France.
Where are the charging stations? It is estimated that 80% of electric vehicle charging takes place at home or at the workplace. Leaving aside home charging stations, which are virtually absent from EQUANS' business (except in the UK at the express request of the customer), EQUANS installs, maintains and operates networks in the following contexts:
- At the workplace
This concerns a company's service and delivery vehicles, but also company fleets and, possibly, employees' vehicles. Installed power: usually 7-22 kW (AC). The logistics of delivery services is, in particular, a fast-growing market, given the environmental legislation in urban areas which will increasingly ban diesel commercial vehicles. Recharging profiles are established according to operational constraints (delivery time, time at stop or depot).
- In the public space
This concerns urban and road infrastructures, but also sites such as shopping centre car parks or hotels, often through concessions. The local authority or private player finances the installation of charging stations and operates the network over time, in exchange for a fee linked to the use of the station by the user. Installed power: terminals up to 22kV (AC) but, increasingly, fast to ultra-fast terminals of over 50kW (DC). Specific solutions for buses and trucks.