Iceland is pursuing an ambitious plan to increase the adoption of renewable energy, with incentives to promote electric vehicles and the installation of over 20 new ABB fast charging stations.
Courtesy of ABB
Iceland’s push for sustainability came after the realisation that the island nation was overly dependent on fossil fuel imports, with the result that, today, 80 percent of the country’s energy comes from renewable energy, led by hydropower and geothermal energy. The Icelandic government has now put in place a state-financed incentive programme to increase the use of electric vehicles. This has already started to achieve results, with more than 6,000 electric cars compared to just 90 in 2014.
More than twenty ABB fast charging stations have been installed along Iceland’s Route 1, the road that is the country’s main highway and its logistical backbone. The chargers are exposed to extreme weather conditions, including temperatures that drop as low as -30C.
“You will not find a more challenging climate than in Iceland” said Bjarni Már Júlíusson, CEO of ON Power, a leading electricity company that's part of Reykjavik Energy. ON Power will operate the network of ABB chargers situated along Route 1. “The chargers are exposed to incredibly harsh weather conditions with lots of salt, sea fog, low temperatures, moisture and storms.”
The ABB fast chargers can recharge an electric car battery in 15-30 minutes and support comprehensive solutions for user authorisation, payment and network connectivity. A stable charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is crucial if Iceland is to realise its ambition of becoming 100 percent energy sustainable.
The fast chargers are supported by ABB AbilityTM technology which guarantees that the chargers are operational 24/7. The chargers are equipped with remote digital connectivity that enables continuous monitoring of the device from any location on the island. This gives ON Power access to data in real time for the remote monitoring and proactive control of the operational and technical status of the charging stations. ABB provides a fully flexible overview of the entire charging network to make sure the system is fully functional right down to temperatures of -35C.
Cloud-based technology connects the chargers to the Microsoft Azure cloud-based platform to drive greater value and efficiency. This means that technicians can diagnose over 90 percent of all errors and solve over 60 percent of them remotely without having to go to the location, and at the same time, this makes it possible for ON Power to guide their customers in the best possible way.