By investing in electric mobility PKN ORLEN may be able to bear the costs of the emissions charge without passing them onto customers. The Company has stepped up its programme of building electric vehicle charging infrastructure by selecting a total of 150 service stations in urban areas and on main transit roads to deploy electric chargers. During the initial phase of the pilot programme around 50 fast charging points will be deployed by the end of 2019.
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We view electric mobility as a major growth opportunity. We are a leading energy producer with a petrochemical arm whose products will be essential for transport based on alternative fuels. There are also regulatory issues. For instance the emissions charge, which has been designed to support electric mobility and which we see as our investment in advancing the development of an alternative fuels market. It provides a stimulus for ramping up investment in this market segment, which ultimately will bring us tangible business advantages and help us avoid passing the emissions charge onto customers,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.
Committed to advancing e-mobility, PKN ORLEN is set to take full advantage of the business opportunities offered by the law on biofuels. The Company has pledged not to pass the costs of the emissions charge on motorists, considering it investment in the building of an alternative fuels market. We see new business opportunities for the Group, which operates a large-scale energy business and modern petrochemical assets that are an important source of products for vehicles powered by alternative fuels.
“We are well aware of the changes occurring in the global market and the growing popularity of alternative drives. New technologies and all aspects of building a cutting-edge energy infrastructure provide very promising business opportunities. For us it is imperative to secure a strong first-mover position, so we have decided to expand our pilot programme by almost doubling the number of service stations covered. We haven’t said our last word yet – we are analysing the growth of this market segment and we see opportunities for further strengthening of our commitment to e-mobility in the long term. We are confident that these efforts will enable use to meet new customer expectations and that they fit well with the plans for growth of the national economy,” added Mr Obajtek.
The pilot programme is consistent with the Company’s strategy, which provides for the adaptation of the retail network to the distribution of alternative fuels. Under the project, by 2019 motorists using electric cars will be able to travel across Poland along the main transport routes thanks to electric car chargers installed at the ORLEN service stations. 50 kW and 100kW electric car quick charging points will be put in place by companies selected in the tender procedure, which is now nearing completion. The planned deployed points will be able to recharge all types of electric vehicles available on the European market. 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 specific locations will be determined later on in the investment programme.
As part of the pilot programme, the first charging point was installed in Płock in the vicinity of the Company’s premises. The 50 kW charging station is designed for both electric (EV) and hybrid (PHEV) vehicles and enables the simultaneous charging of four vehicles. The power for each station is supplied dynamically by the station controller while vehicles are being charged, which significantly shortens the charging time. The modular design of the station enables expansion of the DC charging station up to 150 kW without the need to extend the casing. At present, a series of tests are being performed. IT solutions, station functionality, its maintenance, and day-to-day operation will be tested in the near future. In the third quarter of 2018, the station will be made available to motorists who, during the first stage of the Company’s pilot programme, will be able to charge their vehicles for free. The charging stations will be constructed by ORLEN Serwis.
As part of other projects involving the use of alternative fuels, selected ORLEN stations already operate charging points for Tesla electric cars in Poland (in Kostomłoty, Katowice, and Ciechocinek) as well as in Germany (Grimmen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Uckerfelde in Brandenburg). Also in the Czech Republic, the Company plans to roll out a charger network at Benzina stations. Currently, there is one charging point in the Czech market, located in Vrchlabi.
The ORLEN network also sells other types of alternative fuels. Last year saw the pilot launch of the first refuelling 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 refuelling infrastructure. In addition, 35 ORLEN stations located in the Czech Republic sell CNG.