Barcelona switches to the electric car

The Catalan capital unveils the first fast recharge point for electric cars within Spain and one of the first in Europe. This technology enables recharging 50% of the battery in only ten minutes and costs around 5 euros. This innovative recharge point joins the other 178 already existing in the city.

CNA / Àlex Recolons

April 15, 2011 02:50 AM

Barcelona (ACN).- Electric cars circulating in Barcelona will be able to recharge their batteries quickly at street level. The first fast recharge point has been unveiled in Barcelona’s technological district, the 22@. The Mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, unveiled on Thursday this type of “petrol station” for electric cars, which enables recharging 50% of the battery in only 10 minutes, instead of the 8 hours previously needed. It will cost around 5 euros and enables some 100 kilometres of driving time, according to experts. This innovative recharge point is the first truly “electricity station” in Spain and one of the first in Europe. It is the result of an agreement between two Spanish companies: the electricity giant Endesa and the oil company Cepsa. Through this agreement fast recharge points will be integrated into existing Cepsa petrol stations.

Barcelona is pushing for the electric car. In the middle of Barcelona’s technological district, the 22@, on the Lope de Vega Street, the 179th recharge point for electric cars has been unveiled. However, this facility is not a regular recharge point, where cars need some 8 hours to recharge their batteries. This point uses innovative technology, which enables cars to recharge 50% of their batteries in only 10 minutes, which means being able to circulate 100 kilometres for some 5 euros of electric power. All cars with the fast recharge technology, known as CHAdeMO, will be able to connect their batteries to this fast recharge point. The driver needs a special card issued by Endesa to use the system.

For Barcelona’s Mayor, Jordi Hereu, the Catalan capital is a “lab city”, where industry and citizens can “test” new energies applied to the car and transport industry. This enables Barcelona to continue strengthening its role as an innovation hub, in this case a hub for the car industry and electric vehicles. The Mayor said that beyond the obvious environmental benefits, the electric car may contribute to drive Catalonia completely out of the economic crisis. In addition, it helps a “key” sector of the Catalan economy, the car industry.