Last year, the Swiss Federal Roads Office (ASTRA) awarded five bidders the contract for the construction of rapid charging stations at 100 Swiss rest stops. The first of these fast chargers has now been opened on the A2.
At this point, it is important to differentiate between rest areas and service stations: rapid charging points for electric cars in Switzerland are of course already available at the service stations, and the charging stations, which are allocated in five sets of 20 locations each, now also allow for rapid charging at rest areas. In Switzerland, this distinction means a lot: service stations (Rastplatz) are owned by the cantons, but as part of the 1,850-kilometre-long national road network, the rest stops (Raststätte) belong to the federal government.
Over the next few years, the 99 other rest areas will be equipped with fast-charging stations. When allocating the tender, ASTRA had estimated the costs at around half a million Swiss francs per rest area (around 470,000 euros). Including the rest areas, this will provide for a total of 160 charging points with around 600 charging points, according to ASTRA.
The five packages put out to tender went to Gotthard Fastcharge (GOFAST), Groupe e, Primeo Energie/Alpiq E-Mobility, SOCAR Energy Switzerland and Fastned. The charging station now opened on the A2 is operated by Primeo Energie and Alpiq. It comprises two 150 kW fast chargers and a 50 kW triple charger. The charging stations, the energy management system and a battery storage facility were supplied by ABB. While the ASTRA communication only mentions the Inseli rest stop in the direction of Lucerne, a communication from Primeo indicates that an equivalent charging station (2x 150 kW CCS, 1x Triple Charger 50 kW, battery storage) was also commissioned in the opposite direction at the Chilchbüel rest stop.
The invitation to tender states that the charging energy predominantly comes from renewable energy and Swiss production. Furthermore, charging must be possible without discrimination, meaning that drivers should be able to charge with several types of plugs and without having to open a special user account. “The payment system must accept the credit cards commonly used in Switzerland,” ASTRA specified.