Newcomer promises wave of fast charging points this year
The Dutch charging station company Yeet! promises to increase the number of fast charging points for electric cars by almost half in Flanders this year.
Flanders had more than 4,000 public charging points at the end of last year, compared to almost 69,000 in the Netherlands. With 1,675 fast charging stations, our northern neighbors also have 15 times as many fast chargers as the 111 in Flanders at the end of last year.
Fast chargers are crucial to the breakthrough of electric cars, because they can charge the car battery relatively quickly during long journeys. A dense network of fast chargers can reduce the ‘range anxiety’: the fear of potential buyers of ending up on the side of the road with an empty battery.
The number of fast chargers must already be due to the arrival of Yeet! almost double. The fast chargers will have a maximum capacity of 350 kilowatts, which should shorten a charge to fifteen minutes or twenty minutes. ‘This year we will open about fifty fast chargers,’ says CEO Wim Boer.
Yeet! is a new charging station company that focuses on the Benelux, France and Germany. In this first year, it will concentrate on Flanders, which is an interesting business case with its small number of charging points. More than half of the 60 million euros invested by the company this year will come to Flanders.
Next year, 100 million euros must be invested and that amount should double by 2023. ‘We must be able to finance our own growth from 2024,’ says Boer. Boer is denying the origin of the first 60 million euros, but it is said to be a combination of banks and institutional investors. Boer and the rest of the management own the shares of Yeet! in hands.
In addition to the fast chargers, Yeet! contracts with owners of strategically located parking spaces for the construction of ‘charging plazas’. This is a charging system in which one transformer in a large parking lot can operate a number of charging stations. That can go up to hundreds of posts. The peak load is kept low by individually determining how fast and how much electricity is needed for each charge.
‘If you quickly go shopping at a shopping center and your battery is almost empty, then a lot has to be added quickly. But if you go shopping for a few hours at leisure or if your battery is still quite full, then you don’t need that much capacity, ‘says operational director Martine Ferment.
Yeet! is not the only Dutch charging station company that sees bread in the Belgian market. Fastned’s fast charging network also already has two stations in Flanders: at Ostend airport and in Roeselare. There is also the charging station company Allego, which is the market leader in Flanders, but is struggling with the roll-out of the charging station network.
Initially, the Belgian charging station market seems attractive to grow rapidly, but some players have overlooked the complicated procedures to obtain permits and connect the poles to the electricity network. Ferment is not afraid of that: “Until now it is fine.”
Yeet! relies on two installation companies in Flanders. The contract has already been concluded with one of them, and discussions are still ongoing for the second. Boer en Ferment do not mention the names of the local installers.