The Romanian arms of German utility E.ON and Hungarian oil and gas group MOL plan to develop 40 rapid charging stations in Romania by 2020. Of the 40 stations, 19 will be installed by E.ON Romania and the remainder by MOL Romania.
The quick chargers will be located within the perimeter of MOL's fuel distribution units on the Arad-Bucharest-Constanta motorway (on pan-European corridor IV), the Sebes-Targu Mures-Iasi motorway and the Suceava-Bucharest-Giurgiu motorway (on pan-European corridor IX).
E.ON and MOL Romania's project was selected to receive funds through the Mechanism Connecting Europe Facility — CEF of the European Commission, with a recommended financing of €18.84m.
The project forms part of the NEXT-E project which has been established to oversee the installation of 222 rapid charging stations (50kW) and 30 ultra-speed charging (150-350kW) stations, creating critical infrastructure for the charging of EVs in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania.
NEXT-E was selected to receive funds through the mechanism for Europe interconnection with co-financing of €18.84m to support the development of a charging network of EVs.
The NEXT-E project is made up of a consortium of the subsidiaries of the German group E.ON from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, and six subsidiaries of MOL, Hrvaska elekropriveda of Croatia, PETROL of Slovenia and Croatia, Nissan and BMW.
Romania’s EV and charging progress
According to data from the Association of Car Producers and Importers of Cars (APIA), the number of hybrid and EVs bought by Romanians in the first five months of this year increased by 185% against the similar period of last year.
APIA also states that in 2015 alone, almost 500 hybrid and EVs were sold in Romania. This is double the amount sold in 2014.
To support this significant growth, Romania has a very ambitious EV charging stations plan. A fast EV public charging network was launched in Bucharest last year, with the support of Kaufland hypermarkets.
"We are going to build in the next nine months ten EV charging stations on the axis Arad – Constanta, which goes from West to South-East", said Valer Hancas, National Marketing Director of Kaufland in a statement last year. Nine out of ten of these EV charging stations will be in the parking areas of Kaufland hypermarkets.
Kaufland announced in August last year that they will have a network of 12 charging points in Romania by the end of the year. The second partner of this project is Renovatio, a local producer and distributor of renewable energy.
Meanwhile, state utility Electrica inaugurated the first charging station for EVs in a filling station in Romania in 2015.
The country’s plan is to reach 50 EV charging points across Romania within three years. Renovatio estimates the cost of each EV station up to €45,000.
E.ON entered Romania in 2005 and currently operates a natural gas distribution network over 21,650 km long and an electricity distribution network of over 81,500 km. It is active in 20 counties located in the middle of the north of the country, with about 3.1 million customers. Over the past 11 years, E.ON has invested more than €1.4bn in Romania.
MOL entered the Romanian market 21 years ago and had a total network of 206 gas filling stations at end-December. In 2015, it bought from Italy's Eni 208 gas stations in Romania, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Eni operated 42 gas stations in Romania under the Agip brand.