Early project implementation phases
The Atlante project is taking shape with the set-up of the largest fast charging network in Southern Europe, the first to be 100% vehicle-grid-integrated (VGI), using renewable energy and storage systems.
In line with the announcements made at EV Day on 8 July, the Atlante development plan is underway. In mid-October, the first fast charging station was inaugurated in Piedmont (Italy), and the first 700 project sites have been identified, 10% of which (mainly in Italy) are already under development and will become operational within the next six months.
The power output at the Atlante charging stations will vary from a minimum of 100 kW to a maximum of 175 kW, ensuring short charging times and offering benefits for Stellantis customers.
The Atlante project is the result of the collaboration between the NHOA Group – which develops and invests in the network being owner and operator – and Free2Move eSolutions, the NHOA joint venture with Stellantis, which in turn supplies the charging technology (hardware and software). The project foresees the installation in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal of 5,000 fast charge points by 2025, with a target of over 35,000 by 2030. The charging stations will mainly be installed near major road junctions and in densely populated urban areas.
The Atlante project is a response to the Fit for 55 plan announced by the European Commission in mid-July, aimed at achieving 100% sales of zero-emission cars by 2035. Another important factor in the scheme is the installation of fast charge points at regular intervals 60 km apart on major arterial motorways.
In just the last few days, the ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) has been alerting European regulatory bodies to the lack of charging infrastructure and, most of all, to the scarcity of fast charging stations. In actual fact, of the approximately 225,000 charging points currently available in Europe, only 25,000 are high-powered.
This is where the Atlante project comes into play, its aim to bridge this gap in infrastructure, by achieving a significant share of the fast charging and ultra-fast charging network market in southern Europe – in terms of dissemination and customer base – by 2030. At the same time, the scheme will also offer preferential and distinctive conditions of service for Stellantis group customers.
Integration with micro-grids
Atlante is a unique project of its kind, combining fast charging and ultra-fast charging systems with Vehicle-Grid-Integrated technology and energy storage systems. NHOA boasts great experience in this field, with over 1 GWh of systems online and under development in 26 countries. Storage systems are the most technically suitable solution to be coupled with the generation of energy from renewable sources, so energy can be stored and then made available for further usage when demand requires. Depending on the station location and the planned charging type (‘on-the-go’ or ‘at destination’), the Atlante charging stations will also include protecting roofs with built-in solar panels and storage systems using ‘second-life’ batteries.
Project significance for Stellantis, NHOA and F2M eSolutions
“Fast charging installations in Southern Europe represent a great opportunity for growth and development towards a new mobility, enabling us to build a better future for the next generations”, stated Anne-Lise Richard, Head of Global e-Mobility at Stellantis. “The deployment of public charging infrastructure is key to helping customers choose to drive an electric vehicle. Like Stellantis, our aim is to offer a charging experience just as simple, intuitive, convenient and, most of all, as fast as filling up with petrol. The network taking shape thanks to the Atlante project will be an enabling factor to achieve this objective. An ambitious project, it’s going in the right direction to supply power for the batteries used in electric and electrified vehicles. Today’s announcement of the work having started therefore represents a big step forward in the implementation of the 360° electrification strategy at Stellantis”.
“The COP26 just ended has once again expressed the urgency to focus all global efforts towards the spreading of renewable energy and electric mobility. Thanks to the expertise of NHOA, one of the top five players worldwide in the energy storage sector, Atlante network is a tangible answer to these needs; it will offer sustainable charging points in micro-grid set up to allow the penetration of more and more renewable sources in the European electric system for the benefit of our planet” said Carlalberto Guglielminotti, CEO of NHOA Group.”
“The Atlante project and the fast charging installations in southern Europe” – noted Roberto Di Stefano, CEO of Free2Move eSolutions – “are the step that needs to be taken for electric mobility to develop, and to be able to travel long distances without having to wait for ages to charge up before resuming a journey. This is a unique opportunity for growth and development, as virtually the entire on-the-go fast charging network has yet to be developed”.
Stellantis and its partners in the Atlante project have already laid out the roadmap for the development of the technology, due to be launched later this year.