European roaming alliance: Five European fast charging networks have pledged allegiance. They founded the Open Fast Charging Alliance, which covers over 500 EV fast-charging stations in six countries. The OFCA is to push for open standards like the OCPI (Open Charge Point Interface) that enables roaming. So far, the signees are Fastned (Netherlands), Sodetrel (France), Smatrics (Austria), Grønn Kontakt (Norway) and Gotthard Fastcharge (Scwitzerland), but more members are welcome to join. Their stations only have to be numerous and offer service 24/7. Naturally, all electric cars are welcome to charge.
A candidate to join the alliance may be E.On. The utility together with Danish network operator Clever plans to span a network of ultra-fast charging stations along Europe’s arterial roads, beginning this year. Starting at 150 kW, the stops will be ready to deliver 350 kW and shall be located 120 – 180 km away from each other. Both companies gathered experiences in the Nordics but E.On said it is in talks with more potential partners. If it will be the OFCA or if E.On is trying to get closer to the German CCS initiative by carmakers remains to be seen.
Charging Germany: eMotorWerks announced a partnership with German Conenergy to launch new EV charging solutions. The companies will collaborate on technology that optimises EV charging based on a user’s energy source preferences such as solar.
Sofia in Bulgaria is looking to buy 20 electric and 20 hybrid buses comes summer. Already, an electric bus is being tested in the capital.
wirtschaftsblatt-bg.com (in German)
Electric to school: The Rural School Bus Pilot Project is a grant programme worth 10m dollars from the California Air Resources Board. All public schools in California are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to schools in districts with poor air quality and ageing vehicles.