GEFCO, a global provider of industrial supply chain solutions and the European leader in automotive logistics, is in the final phase of an ambitious project to install 290 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on compounds across Europe. Made to order by e-Totem, one of France’s leading EV charger providers, these unique facilities will help carmakers and dealers charge vehicles before delivery to end-customers.
Meeting new supply chain challenges
Installed in phases, 145 new charging stations will be up and running by the end of 2021 on 23 GEFCO compounds in eight European countries: Belgium (Ghislenghien), Czech Republic (Kolin) France (Blyes, Le Havre, Hordain, Marckolsheim, Marly-la-Ville, Mulhouse, Nantueuil, Poissy, Rennes, Sochaux and Valenton), Italy (Livorno and Parma), Portugal (Setubal) and Slovakia (Trnava), Spain (Ciempozuelos and Tarragone) and the United Kingdom (Sandtoft and Sheerness).
Albert Bouchoucha, Director of Industrial Car Flows at GEFCO, said, “The transition to greener fuel requires major investments in new infrastructure. These new EV charging stations will provide a welcome boost to EV manufacturers and dealerships, and we’re delighted to be helping our customers adapt to demand, true to our ‘Partners, unlimited’ culture.”
Mobilizing a team of 40 GEFCO employees, this €7 million project was launched in 2020 in response to exponential growth in the EV market after the introduction of global incentives to accelerate the transition to zero-emission technologies. This has created a new challenge: to enable supply-chain provides like GEFCO to top up the batteries of new EVs at their compounds upon request before delivery to dealerships and end-customers.
Tailor-made charging stations for unique services
To meet this challenge, GEFCO teamed up with e-Totem to design and produce two types of unique charging stations, DC50kW superchargers and AC22kW accelerated chargers. These have touch-screen, multilingual controls and are connected to a central management system by 3G/4G with Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) for live supervision. With this technology, GEFCO teams can set the level of charge to within 1%, track it with smartphones, ensuring that battery levels never fall to zero, and invoice the exact cost of the energy used to charge the vehicles. These unique features offer a significant improvement on traditional charging stations, which can neither predefine a level of charge nor stop charging automatically, meaning they always continue until full charge. Currently, GEFCO is the only supply-chain specialist to propose this highly personalized service.
Hervé SONNEVILLE, CEO e-Totem, commented, “We’re delighted to have worked with GEFCO on this project, bringing customized, 100% French designed and manufactured electric vehicle charging stations to sites across Europe. Since the first days of our company in 2012, we’ve continually innovated and adapted our solutions to our customers’ needs.”