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Every Dutch citizen will live within 31 miles of an electric vehicle charging station by 2015

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Switzerland-based ABB wins contract to install fast chargers as Holland pushes for greener highways

ABB EV charging station
ABB EV charging station

The Dutch government plans to roll out a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations within the next two years, as part of a push to facilitate more environmentally-friendly transport. ABB, a Switzerland-based power and automation company, announced this week that it is teaming up with Dutch startup Fastned to install EV chargers at more than 200 stations across the Netherlands, with at least one station every 50 kilometers (31 miles). With more than 16 million inhabitants, the Netherlands is, to date, the most populous country to implement a nationwide EV charging network.

According to ABB, its 50 kilowatt Terra fast chargers are capable of charging an electric car within 15 to 30 minutes. The first chargers will be delivered in September 2013, the company said Monday. Fastned, which was founded in 2011, will be responsible for building more than 200 stations — each equipped with a solar panel canopy — by 2015.

More than 200 stations will be built nationwide

Zurich-based ABB was involved in a similar initiative earlier this year, when Estonia launched a nationwide EV charging network with more than 160 stations. Analysts predict that sales of EV charging equipment across Europe will total €1 billion ($1.3 billion) by the year 2020, up from just €72 million ($92 million) in 2012.

The Dutch initiative, first announced in 2011, underscores the increasing willingness of governments to spur EV development, though implementing similar systems in the US would likely be far more challenging — the surface area of the US is more than 230 times larger than the Netherlands.