NEXT-E Press release

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NEXT-E consortium and EU sign a grant agreement to deploy 252 fast and ultra chargers for Electric Vehicles across CEE
  • The network of 222 fast chargers and 30 ultra-chargers for EV (Electric Vehicles) will connect six countries in CEE along main roads on the  EU's core transport network
  • The largest grant ever given by the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility for any EV project, amounts to EUR 18.84 million
  • The NEXT-E network will be interoperable within the participating countries and connected to EV networks in Western Europe in order to create one integrated EU-wide charging network
Tallinn, 9 November 2017 – Today marks an important milestone in the e-mobility expansion to Cohesion countries and the future of European transportation. During the Digital Transport Day in Tallinn, partners of the NEXT-E consortium signed a grant agreement with INEA which will enable the building of a charging network for EVs across six countries in Central and Eastern Europe: The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania.

In July 2017, the NEXT-E project was selected by the European Commission for co-financing through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The NEXT-E consortium will be granted €18.84 million to implement the project, which is the largest CEF grant ever awarded to an EV project. Within the framework of this project, the consortium will install 222 multi-standard fast chargers (50 kW) and 30 ultra-chargers (150-350 kW) along TEN-T core corridors and core network. For the first time ever, long distance travel, based 100% on electricity, will be possible across 6 Cohesion countries, with connection to the neighboring countries.

The NEXT-E project represents a unique cooperation of four leading companies from the electricity and oil & gas sectors joining forces with OEMs (car manufacturers) to create interoperable and non-discriminatory EV charging network, as a viable alternative to the combustion engine vehicles. The consortium consists of companies of E.ON Group (Západoslovenská energetika in Slovakia, E.ON Czech Republic, E.ON Hungary, E.ON Romania), MOL Group (represented with subsidiaries in all 6 participating countries), Hrvatska elektroprivreda in Croatia, PETROL (in Slovenia and Croatia), as well as Nissan and BMW.

‘Next-E is politically an essential innovation project, which took great efforts from industry and encouragement and support from the European Commission side to take place. In addition, the close collaboration with other neighbouring projects is evident, emphasising the maximizing European impact and dimension of the core network corridor policy. - The objective of our policy is to finally allow citizens to travel with alternatively fuelled vehicles across the entire EU ‘, said Herald Ruijters, Director, DG MOVE, Directorate B - Investment, Innovative & Sustainable Transport, European Commission. 

'I am proud that the EU and INEA will support a project that will kick off e-mobility in Central-Eastern Europe. With 252 electric charging points, 30 of which with very high capacity, the EU's core transport network will gain cross-border interoperability and a more open market for the benefit of consumers,' said Dirk Beckers, Director of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) at the grant agreement signature ceremony.

Currently, EV charger deployments are scattered and often un-coordinated, posing a risk of overlaps or gaps in the network. The NEXT-E project was launched to address this challenge, and to create a continuous and cost-effective network that ensures the ability for long-distance and cross-border driving. The project will also leverage existing experience into countries without significant EV activities to date, such as Hungary and Romania. In order to ensure interoperability to the West and create a one fully connected network, the project will be coordinated with other ongoing CEF co-financed projects, i.e. ULTRA-E, EAST-E and FAST-E.

The deployment of fast chargers is expected to start in 2018, while the installation of the ultra-chargers is planned for 2019 in order to prepare for the arrival of a new generation of long-distance EVs. The full deployment is expected to be concluded by the end of 2020.

Note for editors
About Next-E

The Next-E project is a unique partnership of leading companies in the electricity and oil & gas sectors, as well as OEMs, who joined forces to create an interoperable and non-discriminatory charging network for electric vehicles across the main TEN-T corridors in Central and Eastern Europe. The consortium consists of the E.ON Group companies (Západoslovenská energetika in Slovakia, E.ON Czech Republic, E.ON Hungary, E.ON Romania), MOL Group companies (represented via subsidiaries in all six participating countries), Hrvatska elektroprivreda in Croatia, PETROL (in Slovenia and Croatia), as well as Nissan and BMW.

The network will be comprised of 222 multi-standard fast chargers (50 kW) and 30 ultra chargers (150-350 kW), and will create a crucial EV charging infrastructure in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania. The Next-E network, expected to be fully deployed by 2020, will be interoperable with Western Europe thanks to coordination with other projects co-financed through the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) is an executive agency established by the European Commission to implement EU funding programmes for transport, energy and telecommunications, including the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) - a key EU financial instrument supporting the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.

CEF Transport programme supports the construction of new transport infrastructure in Europe or rehabilitation and upgrade of the existing one with the aim to complete the Core Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) by 2030 and the Comprehensive Network by 2050 in order to facilitate accessibility to all European regions.

Contact information

NEXT-E coordinator contact
Ing. Radoslav Markuš

NEXT-E communications contact
Andrea Atanasov

The whole responsibility for this press release is with the author. The European Union cannot be held responsible for the use of the information contained therein.

On the picture from left to right: Sandor Fasimon, Marian Rusko, Violeta Bulc, Dirk Beckers, Miha Valenticic, Vladimir Sabo.