Italy’s ASPI announces plans to install cross-country ultra-fast EV charging network

Italy’s ASPI announces plans to install cross-country ultra-fast EV charging network

Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI), an Italian joint-stock company that creates and maintains motorway infrastructure, has announced plans to install 100 standalone ultra-fast EV charging stations across the country’s motorways.

ASPI originally came into existence as a publicly owned company under the control of IRI, but it was privatized in 1999 and then it was incorporated in its current form in 2003. Apart from creating and maintaining motorway infrastructure in Italy, ASPI has also been responsible for developing tollways in other European countries like the United Kingdom. Now, it has created a new subsidiary dedicated to building out electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in Italy.

The subsidiary called, called “Free to X,” aims to build out 100 separate ultra-fast EV charging stations across the country’s Italian motorways. The distance between two ultra-fast EV charging stations will be no more than 50 km (roughly 31 miles).

According to the company’s claims, the Free to X network will be consisted of 300kW station, which should provide average charge time of 15 to 20 minutes each. Each of the planned charging stations will offer 4-6 multi-client columns, each capable of providing ultra-fast charging to EVs. ASPI has already inaugurated its first ultrafast EV charging station.

The company said in a statement, “Opening the dance is the Secchia Ovest service area, on the Autosole, where the first charging station for battery-powered vehicles has just entered into operation, with powers up to 300 kW. This charging station will be followed by a second ultrafast infrastructure in the Flaminia Est service area, north of Rome.”

An electric mobility association in Italy, called Motus-E, has also noted the need for more EV charging stations. According to the association, roughly 41,000 EVs were sold in the country in the first three months of 2021. It was the first quarter when the number of EV and hybrid vehicle registrations surpassed those of internal combustion vehicles.

It is also interesting to note here that the planned distance of 50 km between two charging stations echoes the average distance between conventional gasoline stations on motorways in Europe. In short, the company aims to put range anxiety to rest for EV owners in Italy.

Despite a notable increase in EV adoption rate, range anxiety and lack of adequate charging infrastructure continue to discourage many potential buyers from switching from conventional petrol/diesel-powered vehicles to battery-powered vehicles. Thus, government officials as well as automobile manufacturers want to leave no stone unturned to expand EV charging network.