Finland is supercharging shift to electric road traffic
Virta’s charging solution was deemed the most valid and innovative of its kind at the 2023 British Renewable Energy Awards.Virta
Finnish charging solutions are helping to usher in the era of electric road traffic in different parts of the world.
Kempower reported last month that it has signed a framework agreement for providing fast-charging stations to ASKO, the largest grocery retailer in Norway. The retailer is bringing rapid charging stations to its 13 logistics depots as part of a plan to electrify its fleet of 700 lorries by 2026.
The charge points and charging system will be selected separately for each depot from the hardware and software catalogue of Kempower.
The Lahti-based charging solutions provider has already delivered chargers to two depots with a view to having more than 80 fast-charging plugs available at the depots by the end of the year.
“Norway has long been recognised as a pioneer in encouraging drivers of personal vehicles to shift to EVs. The country is now making great headway in electric long-distance transportation and commercial fleets,” stated Erik Kanerva, sales director for Northern Europe at Kempower.
“Norway is an ideal place to deploy the latest e-mobility solutions because it generates almost all of its electricity using climate-friendly hydropower and features challenging topography.”
Kempower and ASKO also agreed on an option to expand their partnership to supply chargers to the roughly 1 800 grocery shops operated by the latter’s parent company, NorgesGruppen. The framework agreement was signed following the successful testing of a charging point at a logistics depot in 2022.
Kempower’s Satellite charging system has a narrow and space-saving design, making it suitable for bustling urban environments such as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Kempower
Kempower in July also reported that it has provided a charging system with two charge points to Berjaya Times Square, a building complex at the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The system has a total power of 400 kilowatts, with each single-output point capable of delivering up to 225 kilowatts.
The system is also easy to expand, be it in terms of charge points or power, in response to an increase in demand.
Berjaya Times Square is a 203-metre tall twin-tower complex that attracts considerable pedestrian and vehicle traffic due to its variety of commercial space, such as a hotel, amusement park and shopping centre. Incorporating Kempower’s charge points into the bustling environment was possible thanks to their narrow and space-saving design.
The charging system was created in collaboration with Yinson GreenTech, a Malaysian energy solutions provider and charge point operator.
Srinivas Tati, senior vice president at Yinson GreenTech, said Kempower’s chargers are stable performers because they are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. They are also user-friendly thanks to their “exceptional software,” enabling seamless integration into the company’s existing charge business.
Virta in June secured a gold medal in the smart energy systems category at the 2023 British Renewable Energy Awards.
The Helsinki-headquartered company’s digital charging platform and end-to-end charging solution were lauded for enabling a rapid transition to e-mobility, reducing transport emissions and connecting electric vehicles with renewable electricity production cost-effectively. The company was regarded as offering the most valid and innovative solution for utilising existing assets and creating benefits for all participants.
Virta has offices in Helsinki, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, London, Singapore and Bucharest.Virta
Eemil Rauma, programme director at Virta, viewed that the recognition is the result of the decade of work that has gone into developing what is the fastest growing electric vehicle charging platform in Europe.
“Not only do our market-leading energy management capabilities enable charging point owners to optimise the installation, infrastructure and electricity costs today, but also guarantee their investments are already ‘future-proof’ with the regulatory requirements regarding energy flexibility and demand response,” he declared.
Virta, he added, is determined to reinforce its leadership in the space by commercialising vehicle-to-grid and other key technologies with the help of the 85-million-euro funding round it closed earlier this year.
Organised in London by the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies, the British Renewable Energy Awards celebrate companies, individuals and projects that are leading the way in the cleantech and renewable energy sectors.
Electric taxis to take off
Plugit Finland, a Pirkkala-based provider of charging solutions, will build a charging area with 40 of its high-power charge points at Helsinki Airport. The roughly four-megawatt area is expected to start serving the hundreds of electric taxis that drop off and pick up passengers at the airport every day later by year-end.
Jukka Isomäki, head of parking and landside traffic at Helsinki Airport, said the airport is delighted to provide a dedicated charging area for the growing number of electric taxis at the airport.
“We believe that the new charging station will be well received,” he said.
Helsinki Airport has started building a charging area for electric taxis visiting the leading international airport in Finland.Finavia
The area will be designed in a way that enables its future expansion to support the simultaneous charging of up to 100 electric taxis.
“By investing in public charging stations for commercial transport, we are doing our part to help commercial transport transfer quickly to electric vehicles,” viewed Tuomas Mäkelä, head of charging business for commercial transport at Plugit Finland.
The build-up of public charging infrastructure has contributed to the proliferation of electric vehicles also in Finland.
The number of fully electric vehicles in the country is forecast to increase to over 1.5 million by 2040, according to the Finnish Information Centre of Automobile Sector. While electric vehicles accounted for 18 per cent of the first registrations of passenger cars in 2022, the share is projected to rise to 42 per cent by 2025 and almost 70 per cent by 2030.
Petrol and diesel cars, though, will remain in the majority for a while even if their sales were banned in 2035 in accordance with a law approved by the EU in February. They currently make up 94 per cent of the 2.7 million passenger cars in the country, but the share is projected to fall to 40 per cent by 2040.
“The number of plug-in vehicles will not exceed that of combustion-engine vehicles until 2037,” Tero Lausala of the Finnish Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repair (AKL) said in June.
Fazer’s bread-hauling electric lorry is the first electric lorry to be put to use in Finland.Fazer
Fazer, one of the most iconic food companies in Finland, has introduced an electric lorry to its fleet as a step toward slashing group-wide emissions by 42 per cent from the level of 2020 by 2030.
The lorry is transporting bread on an almost 100-kilometre route from the company’s bakery in Lahti to logistics centre in Vantaa. Marko Bergholm, the director of bakery operations at Fazer Finland, revealed that replacing a single diesel-powered lorry with the electric one is estimated to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 23 000 kilos a year.
“By commencing emission-free cargo transport, we are taking the first significant steps in the logistics logistics of Fazer Bakeries Finland. Thanks to the new electric lorry, we are able to transport thousands of pallets of bread without any carbon-dioxide emissions,” told Bergholm.
“We are evaluating and measuring the carbon footprint of our bakery logistics regularly, and we area already using lorries powered by biogas.”
Fazer is committed to Science Based Targets, a joint initiative of Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), UN Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The initiative seeks to develop methods and criteria for corporate climate action and validate corporate climate targets.