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PKN ORLEN to construct its own network of electric vehicle chargers in Poland

PKN ORLEN to construct its own network of electric vehicle chargers in Poland
Photo courtesy of PKN ORLEN.

PKN ORLEN, which has a network of 2,679 service stations in the premium and economy segments in central Europe, is launching a pilot project to install fast chargers for electric vehicles at its service stations. By the end of 2018, motorists will be able to recharge their electric cars at some service stations located along Poland’s main transit routes.

The newly deployed points will be able to recharge all types of electric vehicles available in Europe. All will be equipped with two DC charging connectors supporting the CHAdeMO and CCS standards, as well as a Type 2 connector for AC charging. A 50 kW DC fast charging station can charge electric vehicle batteries from 20% to 80% of their full capacity within 20–30 minutes.

The project will be implemented in 2018–2019, with the first points already in service by the end of this year. The specific locations will be determined later in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. An RFP for 23 (50 kW and 100 kW) chargers has just been released. Apart from transit locations, chargers will also be installed at PKN ORLEN premises in Płock and Warsaw, Poland.

“The investment in electric mobility, in line with wider strategic development plans for the Polish economy, will allow us to significantly expand the know-how we have gained on foreign markets. It will also be a major stimulant to growth of the entire alternative fuel market in Poland. Our aim is to ensure that in 2019 drivers of electric cars are able to travel across Poland along the main routes relying only on our charging points,” said Wojciech Jasiński, president of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN.

The project is a part of the company’s development strategy, whereby the retail network is to be consistently prepared for alternative fuel sales. As part of its partnership with Tesla, selected ORLEN stations already operate charging points for the automaker’s electric cars in Poland, in Kostomłoty and Katowice, as well as in Germany: Grimmen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Uckerfelde in Brandenburg. In the Czech Republic, the company plans to roll out a charger network at Benzina stations, in partnership with CEZ. Currently, there is one charging point on the Czech market located in Vrchlabi.

Other types of alternative fuels are also sold through the ORLEN network. Last year saw the pilot launch of the first refueling point for hydrogen-powered cars at the company’s German station operating under the STAR brand in Mülheim, with further efforts planned this year to develop the hydrogen-refueling infrastructure. In addition, 35 ORLEN stations located in the Czech Republic sell CNG.

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