E-motorist expectations driving development
The numbers of electric vehicles and hybrids on Swedish roads are increasing steadily. However, growth in charging stations is not keeping pace with the growing numbers of electric vehicles. The charging infrastructure must be expanded, not only along the roads, but also near homes and workplaces and where people live their daily lives. So says Patrik Andersson, CEO of the GARO Group.
“The trend is clear – Swedes want to switch to electric vehicles as a way to spare the environment. This means the number of charging stations must also be increased nationwide. Doing the right thing should be easy, and given the momentous need for change currently faced, this expansion is a must,” he continues.
GARO, which has been a leader in e-mobility since 2008, offers some of the market’s most innovative and advanced products in the field. “Our products offer internet connectivity and can share information with each other and the vehicles. They can be connected to payment services, and they can also control the power to ensure efficiency,” says Patrik.
He believes that electrification will change our attitude to what powers our vehicles, and that it will no longer be a given to visit particular filling stations as we do today. “We’ll go to places where we can charge our vehicles while doing other things, such as the weekly shopping, enjoying a tasty meal at a restaurant or working out at the gym. Motorists expect convenient opportunities to charge their electric vehicles, and this is something that employers, building owners and other service providers already need to keep in mind.”
However, according to Patrik, this is not all simply a case of availability. The expectation of being able to rapidly charge your vehicle puts demands on both the charging stations and the infrastructure’s continued expansion. “Sometimes, you need to be able to refuel quickly, and so that option needs to be available. Habits die hard, and we’re used to being able to refuel our petrol and diesel cars in a minute or so.”
This insight has led to GARO’s latest innovation and newest addition to the range. Our Althea fast charger has been developed and tested in the harsh Nordic climates of Sweden and Norway, ensuring that it can handle both extreme cold and excess moisture. The station can be equipped with both CHAdeMO and CCS charging cables to ensure that all types of fast-charging electric vehicles can be charged. “Althea is a fast charger that can boost a battery from 20% to 80% in just 30 minutes. I’m sure that the vast majority would consider 30–40 minutes a small price to pay for showing their concern for the environment,” says Patrik.
Set up your own filling station – at home
If you want to ensure the right conditions for charging your electric vehicle at home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The first is that you cannot simply plug your vehicle into the nearest power outlet. The high load can lead to overheating and, in the worst case, a fire. A considerably better solution is to invest in a wallbox, and with current government subsidies and tax rebate schemes, it need not be too expensive.
You should also consider opting for a wallbox that offers smart additional services, such as collecting usage statistics and measurement data, which provide added value to both individual consumers and companies, says Patrik. “This is almost a must, for example, for tenant-owner associations that want to ensure that the costs for electric vehicle charging are shared fairly. We can offer such functionality and much more with our cloud service, GARO G-Cloud.”