Scandinavia charging ahead with EV network, plans Europe's first EV battery plant

08 March 2017

8 March 2017

Finnish semi-state utility provider Fortum has announced it will build the first high-power (150-350kW) charging corridor between the Nordic capitals.  

The Charge & Drive network linking Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki will offer faster charging speeds to upcoming electric vehicles (EVs) with more than a 300km range. These are expected to come to market from early 2018. The first four stations will be built during 2017. 

Back in 2010 Charge & Drive launched its network to connect the Nordic capitals with slower ′quick’ charging points (50kW). To date it has 1200 chargers, 450 of which are ‘quick’ 50kW chargers.  

Fortum Charge & Drive vice president Markus Hökfelt said: ′Now it’s time to take the Charge & Drive network to the next level so that the full potential of EVs can be made available for our customers.’ 

Charge & Drive aims for an open approach, with collaborations to improve interconnectivity across Europe. 

It has also helped to build the Tesla Super Charger network in EV market leader per capita Norway, where EVs and hybrids have now reached half of all new car registrations in 2017. 

Meanwhile, E.ON and CLEVER have begun their project to roll out their ‘ultra-fast’ (150kW-350kW) charging network along European corridors, with a partnership with YX in Norway. These will initially be offered at 20 of YX’s 200 service stations across Norway and will be installed between 2018 and 2020.  

Calls are also growing to secure Europe’s energy independence in the EV age, and two former Tesla executives have announced their intention to build a $4 billion (€3.8 billion) battery factory in the Nordic countries to counter Asian dominance of the EV battery industry. 

Their company Northvolt aims to be vertically integrated with raw materials mined in the region, to avoid the issues facing cobalt which is being hoarded by hedge funds in anticipation for soaring EV battery demand. 

Backed by Swedish state-owned Vattenfall, Northvolt is looking to build a factory in Sweden with possible mining operations in Finland.