News / 18.10.2016

Electric vehicle charging network expands in Helsinki

Helen's new concept brings private charging points as part of the public charging network. The Pitäjänmäki charging point has ABB’s latest electric vehicle charging technology that charges a car in just 5–15 minutes.

A new fast-charge station in the Helsinki district of Pitäjänmäki is being added to the nationwide electric vehicle charging network of Virtapiste. The new station is the 41st charging point in the network of charging stations in Helsinki. Helen’s public charging stations form the largest urban network in Finland, already including three fast-charge points. Earlier this autumn, Helen also included the fast-charge point of the Viikki Environment House as part of the public charging network.

‘With the new cooperation model, Helen is bringing private charging points as part of the public charging network. Connecting a property-specific charging point to the public network enables productivity for the charging point investment,’ says Development Manager Juha Karppinen of Helen Ltd. ‘In Finland, a growing number of people are already using electric vehicles on a daily basis, and the expanding charging service will make life easier for them. Transition from oil-based transport to electric traffic will bring significant benefits in terms of the environment and the energy economy,’ Karppinen points out.

Representing the latest technology, the fast-charge station by the side of the ABB factory area is suitable for both hybrid cars and full electric vehicles, as well as for all charging standards. Open for all drivers of electric vehicles, the station is the first Terra 53 multi-standard station in the Virtapiste charging service network.  At the Pitäjänmäki charging station, a fast charge of an electric vehicle takes 5–15 minutes. It is suitable for all charging standards in use: for CHAdeMO and Combo 2 direct current charging and for Type 2 alternating current charging. ABB’s latest fast charging technology is already being used extensively, e.g. in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Holland. More than 5,000 stations have been delivered to over 50 countries.

‘The new charging station is another step towards greener traffic. It also contributes to achieving the EU’s emissions reduction targets and reducing our dependence on imported oil. In the near future, the capacity of electric vehicle batteries will increase, which will expand the distance covered by electric vehicles and make them more suitable for a growing number of users,’ says Product Manager Jukka Mäkinen of ABB.

The average age of passenger cars in Finland is over 10 years, and therefore emissions are high. Around 80–90 per cent of energy consumption and emissions during the lifetime of a car are produced during driving. When driving an electric vehicle, the car is locally free of carbon dioxide emissions. In 2020, the global number of electric vehicles is estimated to be 40 million. This number corresponds to about 2 per cent of cars on the road. In Finland, the number of passenger cards is about 2.5 million. When the energy and transport policy is developed in the right direction, it is estimated that there will be about 100,000 electric vehicles on Finnish roads in 2020.

At the charging stations of the Virtapiste network, identification and the start and payment of charging takes place with a single Virtapiste card throughout Finland and overseas. The network is operated by technology company Virta, which is owned by 18 Finnish energy companies. The electricity networks administered by the partners extend over the whole country, reaching from Hanko to regions north of the Arctic Circle. The charging service is managed with the Virtapiste mobile application, which all users of electric vehicles can download free of charge through app stores. Virtapiste stations are located in over 30 towns in Finland.

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