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Czech Republic: Unipetrol Cooperates with CEZ To Offer Electric Charging At Benzina

Czech Republic: Unipetrol Cooperates with CEZ To Offer Electric Charging At Benzina

Unipetrol has made an agreement with the CEZ Group, to expand the offer in its fuel service station network, launching dozens of rapid charging stands throughout the Czech Republic.

They will be built by the Electro-Mobility of the CEZ Group, the operator of the largest domestic network of public charging stations. The infrastructure is being built by the European Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grant. CEZ and Benzina will put into operation over ten of these fast-moving racks, by the end of the year.

Expansion of its offer by rapid charging points for electric automobiles is being carried out by Benzina, the largest fuel retail network and part of Unipetrol refinery and petrochemical group. Facilitating most electric vehicles to recharge 80% of their battery capacity in ca. 20-30 minutes, Benzina equips its fuel service stations with rapid charging racks, in cooperation with Elektromobilita from the CEZ Group. When CEZ installed its power charging stand at Benzina fuel station in Vrchlabí in 2014, as part of the so-called Vrchlabí Smart Region, the collaboration between Unipetrol and CEZ commenced.

Tomasz Wiatrak, Vice-Chairman of the Unipetrol Group’s Board of Directors responsible for retail segment and corporate governance, said, “We want to offer the widest range of products and services at our fuel service stations. We are now expanding our offer with electricity. In the first phase, we picked up to twenty-five stations located in exposed places - cities, motorways and first-class roads. We are working on including hydrogen to Benzina’s offer too as we produce it. We have feasibility studies ready for specific locations. The project is in stage of obtaining the necessary permits."

"With nearly one hundred public charging stations, CEZ is the operator of Czech Republic’s largest network and Benzina is the number one on the fuel service station market,” said Pavel Cyrani, Directors of CEZ's Business and Strategy Division. “We have thus decided to cooperate and develop an electro mobility network together. Fuel service stations are quite logical places for recharging. Drivers are used to refuel and get the necessary facilities here. The European grant from the CEF program for Transport helps us to significantly accelerate the construction of the rapid charging stations network. The construction will be partly funded from two grants by the CEF European Program, in which CEZ's succeeded last year and the year before."

More than 200 electric cars are currently registered in the Czech Republic and only last year the number increased by 400. The estimates of further development forecast annual sales of thousands of electric cars and plug-in hybrids, within several-years horizon. A 20% share in total sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the Czech Republic is anticipated to be reached, once the results show a gradual fall of the largest barriers (limited supply, high cost, low density of recharge spots and low customer experience) in combination with support measures (free entry to city centers, parking zones, driving in public transport lanes, etc.) PWKD08062018

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