Back to where it started: Fastned celebrates the tenth anniversary of its first fast charging station
Today, it is almost unimaginable when you look around you on the motorway, but ten years ago, there were hardly any electric cars on the road. Electric cars could only drive about 100 kilometers on a full battery. So, if you wanted to drive from west to east Netherlands, you had to recharge in between. Fastned met that need for electric drivers by opening the fast charging station Palmpol in 2013 on the A1 near Barneveld. Fastned's first fast charging station is also one of the first fast charging stations in the Netherlands. Ten years later, over 280 fast charging stations have been rolled out across Europe. And it doesn't stop there.
How it all started
In 2012, the Dutch government issued a tender for concessions to build fast charging stations along Dutch motorways. Whereas oil companies did not want to invest in electric cars, and some other companies opted for a handful of stations in only the best spots along the motorway, the founders of Fastned, Bart Lubbers and Michiel Langezaal, felt that if you want to make the electric car a serious alternative to the petrol car, you had to build charging stations throughout the Netherlands. They believed in the success of electric cars, provided good charging infrastructure was available. Hence, they immediately applied for tenders for many locations and secured concessions to build fast charging stations in many places. Palmpol is the first station that Fastned opened.
Palmpol is one of the first fast charging stations in the Netherlands
At the time, Martijn Hendriks was one of the first Dutch people to have an electric car. 'Ten years ago, I worked in Amsterdam and lived east of the country. I drove past the service station Palmpol every day. The range of my first electric car was about 100 kilometers, so I had to recharge regularly. The Palmpol Fastned station allowed me to make this trip and recharge without spending too much time. That was a relief at the time. Fastned opened more fast charging stations in the Netherlands in the following period. This network allowed me to drive my electric car across the country for work. I was soon able to get rid of the diesel car I drove next to it, and since then, I have been driving everything 100% electric for many years. By now, with a range of 480 kilometers. I still enjoy coming for fast charging at Fastned, at Palmpol station.'
Fastned is getting faster and faster
The first green kilometers were charged via a 50 kW charger at Palmpol station, which allowed a 42-kilometer range recharge in about 10 minutes. Fast forward ten years later, Fastned is installing 400 kW chargers, allowing many new cars to top up to 300 kilometers of range in 10 minutes. Michiel Langezaal, CEO and co-founder of Fastned: 'It's fantastic to see how fast the number of electric drivers on the road has increased over the past decade. Palmpol is where it started for us ten years ago with the opening of our first fast charging station. Three years after the opening, we added the fiftieth fast charging station to our network, giving us national coverage in the Netherlands. We now have more than 290 fast charging stations in Europe, over 165 of which are in the Netherlands, so electric drivers always have a fast charging station nearby.'
In the coming years, the number of electric cars on the road will only increase, and Fastned is further expanding its network of fast charging stations across Europe. Langezaal: 'Fast charging will only get faster in the coming years, and the number of fast charging stations in Europe will increase significantly. Palmpol station is at the heart of this rapid development. It remains a special station for us.'