Not just cars: the challenge for leadership over electrification does not only concern vehicles, but also the charging infrastructure. Stellantis, the second European manufacturer born from the merger of FCA and PSA, has launched the Atlante project in collaboration with NHOA, a company listed on the Paris Stock Exchange that deals with clean energy and sustainable mobility. The ambitious plan, which is essentially the Italian-French group’s alternative to the Ioniq consortium of German brands plus Ford and to which Hyundai and Kia have also joined, aims to offer “the widest fast-charging network in Southern Europe”. It will naturally be open to motorists of all brands, but will guarantee “privileged access to Stellantis customers”. Italy is one of the four countries involved: the others are France, Spain and Portugal. By 2025, more than 1,500 stations are expected to be built for a total of 5,000 recharging points. Five years later, 9,000 and 35,000 are expected to be reached, respectively, with storage systems and solar energy, among other things. Together with NHOA, which holds 49.9% of the Free2Move eSolutions joint venture controlled by Stellantis, the group is preparing for the “Fit for 55” community objectives, already envisaging the reuse of accumulators no longer used on vehicles. With Atlante, in reality, services will be offered not only to motorists (at least one station every 100 kilometers on the motorway for electric recharging), but also to transmission and distribution network operators thanks to the exchange of energy and the balancing of the offer.
The most ambitious goal, however, is to integrate hydrogen refueling with a distributor every 150 km, when the fast charging points will be located just 60 km away from each other. According to a survey by McKinsey & Co, in 2030 the penetration of electric and plug-in vehicles is expected to increase by 26 times in the countries involved in the project and reach 13 million units. “Atlante – commented Roberto Di Stefano, CEO of Free2Move eSolutions – is opening a new era in which the energy transition and zero-emission mobility will become the norm in our life, allowing a better planet for future generations”.
At least for now, the numbers relating to the location of the charging stations have not been provided, which will depend on the size of the country and the speed of expansion of the electrified market. In Italy, the first installations should be completed in early 2022. An investment of between 100 and 140 thousand euros is foreseen for each fast charging station, integrated with storage, renewable sources and the electricity grid. That is to say at least one billion euros, not counting hydrogen, which has significantly higher costs.
“The Atlante project is the cornerstone of our strategic ambitions – said Carlalberto Guglielminotti, CEO of NHOA and executive president of Free2Move eSolutions – From pure technology player to developer and operator of charging infrastructures for electric vehicles”.