Fastned, a prominent Dutch fast charging company, has raised €150 million in fresh capital to build new EV charging stations. Fastned’s ambition is to have a network of 1,000 stations in Europe by 2025. Currently, there are 133 Fastned stations. They are mainly in the Netherlands, with nearly two dozen in Germany. There are also the initial stations of networks starting in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Switzerland. In France there are over a dozen locations waiting for the necessary paperwork to finish to start building. In total, there are 164 stations in the pipeline in different stages of preparation. These could be built in the next 18–24 months. Another hundred are in the early planning stages.
The German government is preparing a thousand sites along the Autobahn that will be auctioned to companies to expand fast charging stations. France is also preparing a significant increase in fast charging stations along its highways. To be considered a serious party, you need money in the coffers. Previously, Fastned raised new money in sums of €5 to €15 million as it expanded. The recent stock rally from €10 to €100 per share enabled Fastned to raise this far larger sum of €150 million. This is the same financial move Tesla made after the explosion of its stock price.
The coronavirus crises slowed down the building of new stations in 2020. Economic uncertainty and lower growth of income made a larger cash buffer necessary. With the start of vaccinations and the end of the lockdown in sight, the prospects for 2021 from Q2 onward look better than they have looked since the beginning of the pandemic. What did not slow down was the growth of BEVs on roads where Fastned is most active. For the numbers, we have José Pontes’ report on EV sales in Europe 2020.
The initial investment in a new charging station is mostly between €300,000 and €600,000. That makes the current cash buffer good for perhaps 300 new stations. A number of the current stations and those built in the next two years are expected to have a positive cash flow and will be able to contribute to the building of even more stations.
To get to the network of a thousand stations in 2025, Fastned will have to open an average of 5 stations a week until that year. That is far from enough for the growing fleet of BEV in the countries Fastned is now active.
For anybody who thinks 1,000 stations is a lot, we need over 200 Fastned stations in the Netherlands alone. Competitors should bring the number of fast chargers, including those in urban locations, to a multiple of that number. Large countries like France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, and the UK can use 1,000 Fastned stations each along their highways. Again, competitors should at least triple that number. There is room for many more stations from competitors like Tesla, Ionity, and Greenway.
This is just the start of building the fast charging infrastructure that Europe needs.