LOTOS is set to build 12 electric vehicle charging stations, enabling electric cars to travel along the A1 and A2 motorways all the way from Gdańsk and Gdynia to Warsaw and back. A smartphone app will help motorists find the charging points and check prices.
Travelling the distance of 450 kilometres from the coast to the capital city (and in the opposite direction) will be possible thanks to charging points spaced at intervals of 150 kilometres or less, located in the Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot metropolitan area (four charging stations), at motorway services alongside the A1 and A2 motorways (six stations) and in Warsaw (two stations).
The electric vehicle charging stations will be equipped with universal chargers compliant with three global standards:
- CHAdeMO – for Japanese and Korean vehicles (direct current),
- CCS (Combined Charging System) – for European vehicles (direct current),
- Type 2 – (direct current) with an adapter for Tesla vehicles (a separate standard).
Having chargers in place that use all these three protocols (CHAdeMO (50 kW), CCS (50kW) and Type 2 (43 kW)) will meet the needs of the entire e-mobility market. The minimum power of a single charging point will be approximately 50 kW. The owner of the LOTOS station chain has yet to make final decisions on the payment system. Various options are being considered at this stage.
In parallel with the installation of the charging points, LOTOS plans to deploy a chain management system featuring a number of useful functionalities, including:
- a 24/7 customer service system, including a mobile app to plan the route and the next charge,
- real-time updates, including charging point locations, availability, charging time and prices,
- roaming feature, enabling EV drivers to use charging points of other network owners/operators in Poland and other EU countries.
While charging their vehicle, drivers of electric and hybrid cars will be able to shop at a well-stocked on-site store, read the press or recharge their smartphone in the Cafe Punkt food service area.
Fast charging points using the CHAdeMO protocol have been available at selected LOTOS stations in Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot since 2015. The name of the standard is an abbreviation of charge de move and a pun for O cha demo ikaga desuka in Japanese, translating as Let’s have some tea. And not without a reason − charging the battery takes about the time needed to brew and drink a cup of tea at the station.
Funding and next steps
In the spring LOTOS selected 50 stations along TEN-T (motorways and expressways) in Poland where EV charging points would be deployed. The first chargers will be launched at 12 service stations on the Gdynia-Gdańsk-Warszawa route, along the A1 and A2 motorways. The estimated cost of the project is approximately EUR 1m and will be partly covered from EU funds.
In July 2017, the European Commission selected a proposal submitted by LOTOS called “LEM project – pilot implementation of electromobility along the TEN-T base network” for receiving EU financial assistance under the 2016 Connecting Europe Facility for Transport, with over 40% of the project budget, or EUR 400,000, to be funded through the EU’s CEF programme.
The grant agreement signing process is overseen and monitored by the Ministry of Development’s Department of Infrastructural Programmes, which also provides advice and support to entrepreneurs in Poland based on their experience in working with the EC.
The grant agreement preparation and signing process is ongoing (including project schedule, disbursement of grant instalments, rules on tendering for works funded by the grant, etc.). The formalities may take until the end of 2017. The pace of further work will depend on various factors, including the completion of power supply connections, which can take more than a year.
In line with Poland’s and EU’s strategy
In 2016, the Ministry of Energy unveiled the objectives of the Clean Transport Package, which aims to strengthen Poland’s energy security and reduce emissions from transport. The LOTOS retail network expansion projects are in line with the plans of the Energy Ministry and the EU’s Clean Vehicles Directive. LOTOS is an active participant in the consultation of the government legislative package, which addresses both electromobility and development of alternative fuels infrastructure. To meet its objectives, LOTOS plans not only to install electric vehicle charging points but also to sell CNG, LNG and hydrogen at its service stations in the future. When these plans materialise, the LOTOS chain will become the LOTOS Energy Hub, a modern network of integrated energy service stations. What advancement of the electric vehicles market offers for LOTOS are mainly prospects of synergies with other industry players operating in Poland whose core business is energy and transport.
LOTOS is a Polish corporation whose business is of strategic importance to the national and European energy security, as well as to the Polish economy. It produces natural gas and crude oil from deposits in Poland, Norway and Lithuania. The company owns a refinery in Gdańsk, one of Europe’s most advanced oil refining plants, where crude is processed mainly into high quality fuels, including the LOTOS Dynamic premium brand. It also operates a network of more than 480 service stations conveniently located at motorways and express ways, in all large cities and many other locations across the country. LOTOS is a retailer and wholesaler of fuels, with a close to one-third market share at home. It is also Poland’s second-largest rail freight forwarder. LOTOS is also a leading manufacturer of road bitumens, engine oils and lubricants used in road vehicles, aeroplanes, trains, ships and military vehicles.
Communication Office, Grupa LOTOS S.A., ul. Elbląska 135, 80-718 Gdańsk, Poland, tel. (+48) 58 308 87 31, (+48) 58 308 83 88, (+48) 58 308 83 55, e-mail: email@example.com