If electric cars are going to be popular or even common, then the corresponding infrastructure will also be necessary. The primary difficulty faced by most EV owners is that the vehicles have a practical range of around 150 kilometers (about 93 miles), and can’t make long trips. In France, Renault and Vinci Autoroutes are cooperating to develop a battery charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The first Park & Ride parking lots and highway rest stops will be outfitted with charging posts and quick-charge equipment at the end of 2011.
Vinci Autoroutes will install a total of 738 charging stations with support from Renault by the year 2013 in parking lots for carpools. At least 5 parking spots per lot will be allocated specifically for use by electric vehicles.
Quick charge stations will be installed in rest stops located on heavily frequented traffic routes along the French highway system in order to facilitate ease of use. These service points should enable quick service for commuters using, for example, the Paris-Orléans-Tour, Paris-Chartres-Le Mans or Arles-Montpellier highways. Vinci Autoroutes, the largest European highway operator with its route network of 4,384 kilometers (2724 miles), is setting another good example: its service fleet will be expanded to include electric cars from Renault.
“The partnership with Vinci Autoroutes shows that electric vehicles are also suitable for out-of-city use, if the appropriate infrastructure is in place,” explains Bernard Cabier, Sales Director France at Renault S.A. (Translator’s note — with electric garbage trucks and electric delivery vans already in use, non-urban travel ability was the clear next step!)
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Translated from: Grüne Autos