Swiss give green light for more electric car charging stations

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Companies providing electric charging stations for e-cars have been given the green light to build facilities at motorway rest stops in Switzerland. The Federal Roads Office decision has opened up 159 such locations for recharging facilities in addition to those already present at service stations.

Providers will initially be able to bid for a total of 20 permits that each cover five locations. The electricity must be produced in Switzerland and come from renewable sources. Each station must provide plug-in points for the three most common adaptors while customers must be able to pay without having to pre-register or by using specific customer cards.

The government has agreed to stump up around CHF500,000 up front to adapt the rest stops for electric filling services. This outlay will be clawed back from the companies that are awarded the permit to install and run the facilities.

In Switzerland, the federal authorities are responsible for smaller rest areas which typically contain a few parking spaces and toilet facilities. Cantons take responsibility for larger filling stations along highway routes.

By the end of March this year, 24 large filling stations had electric car charging points with another 14 in planning stages.

With the new smaller locations that have been opened up, private companies bidding for permits would be obliged to have their facilities operational within a year of being awarded the concession. With this in mind, the first such charging stops are not expected before the end of 2019.

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