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Estonia Launches National Electric Car Charging Network


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JL
- 417 days ago - guardian.co.uk
165 charging points around the country will use direct current to charge cars in less than 30 minutes



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JL A. (269)
Friday February 22, 2013, 9:37 am

Estonia launches national electric car charging network

165 charging points around the country will use direct current to charge cars in less than 30 minutes

Adam Vaughan
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 20 February 2013 12.24 EST

Electric car charging network in Estonia
The electric vehicle charging network in Estonia is operated by ABB. Photograph: Arno Mikkor

Estonia's reputation as one of the most wired-up countries in Europe has been boosted further with the opening of what is being billed as the world's first nationwide electric car charging network.

The sparsely populated Baltic state with a population of just 1.3 million hopes the 165 "fast chargers" will overcome the "chicken and egg" problem facing the take-up of electric cars worldwide.

The network of charging points, which was opened officially on Wednesday but has been running for several months, uses direct current (DC) to charge cars in less than 30 minutes, rather than around eight hours to recharge a car's battery as is the case with most of the more than 3,000 points in the UK.

There are believed to be around 650 electric cars in Estonia, more than 500 of which were Mitsubishi i-MiEVs given to social workers by the government in 2011. Motorists can get grants of up to€18,000 (£15,700) off electric cars, compared to the £5,000 cap for the UK's electric car grant. The average full price for a new electric car is around £30,000.

Estonia's minister of the environment, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, said: "The fact that recharging is so easy is one of the main reasons more and more Estonians will decide in favour of electric cars in future. Our entire transport policy should be based on the notion that environmentally friendly travel is the cheapest and simplest option there is."

The charging points are no further than 60km apart, and were paid for by the Estonian government. Whether the push to electric cars will come with environmental benefits, however, remains to be seen: the former Soviet republic gets more than 90% of its electricity from carbon-heavy oil shale.

Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of discrete automation and motion at ABB, the Swiss company that makes the charging points and won the tender for the network in January 2012, said: "Having a nationwide fast-charging network will encourage motorists to switch to electric vehicles and it will motivate other countries to invest in their own charging infrastructure."

The distance electric cars can go between charges was the subject of heated debate in the US media in the last week, following a war of words between the New York Times and US electric car company Tesla Motors over its new Model S car.

This week the UK government announced it would cover up to 75% of the cost of installing charging points for electric vehicles in garages and driveways.
 

Sue H. (7)
Friday February 22, 2013, 10:19 am
Bravo Estonia!
 

John S. (294)
Friday February 22, 2013, 10:36 am
Can you charge up a mobile phone there?
 

JL A. (269)
Friday February 22, 2013, 10:48 am
You cannot currently send a star to Sue because you have done so within the last week.
It looks like things are fine in Estonia for mobile phones John:

Estonia to vote by mobile phone in 2011
Estonians allowed to cast Internet ballots in last year's parliamentary vote

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By Jari Tanner
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TALLINN, Estonia — Parliament has approved a law making Estonia the first country to allow voting by mobile phone.

Lawmakers approved a measure Thursday allowing citizens to vote by mobile phone in the next parliamentary elections in 2011.

Estonians were allowed to cast Internet ballots in last year's parliamentary vote.

The mobile-voting system, which has already been tested, requires that voters obtain free, authorized chips for their phones, said Raul Kaidro, spokesman of the SK Certification Center, which issues personal ID cards in Estonia.

The chip will verify the voter's identity and authorize participation in the electronic voting system, he said.

The system and software have proven effective and reliable in an independent security audit, Kaidro said. He dismissed security concerns, claiming the system "is the most secure way to authenticate digital signatures."

Kaidro said he expects the 2011 vote to be the first of its kind, though he said neighboring Finland and Sweden possess the software and technical capabilities to conduct a similar "cellular election."

Estonian officials said the Internet voting system in 2007 proved secure despite worries about hacker attacks, identity fraud and vote count manipulation.
 

Carol D. (98)
Friday February 22, 2013, 12:20 pm
sounds good

noted Thanks
 

JL A. (269)
Friday February 22, 2013, 3:19 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Carol because you have done so within the last week.
 

Ro H. (0)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 7:27 am
ty
 

Bruno Moreira (61)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 7:53 am
noted thanks
 

JL A. (269)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 8:46 am
You are welcome Ro and Bruno
 

Anna Undebeck (187)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 11:19 pm
Sounds good. Thanks
 

JL A. (269)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 12:59 am
You cannot currently send a star to Anna because you have done so within the last week.
 
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