Electric charging station developed in Hungary is inaugurated by Minister at the Budapest stop of the ’80 edays’ around-the-world rally of electric cars
The international teams promoting electric mobility have driven over 20,000 km from Barcelona through North America and Asia and have arrived at the Hungarian capital where they received their ID cards for the new Hungarian rapid charging station directly from Mihály Varga, Minister of National Economy. After inaugurating the charger – which was developed by evopro – a press conference was held at the BudaPart-Kopaszi dam by representatives of the Ministry of National Economy, the Hungarian Electromobility Association, the Clean Air Action Group, and by the chief organizer of the ’80edays’ rally and the leader of the Hungarian team.
At the ceremony Mihály Varga, Minister of National Economy highlighted that although this charger is a small step for the manufacturing company, it’s a giant leap for electric mobility, because this station could the first in a soon-to-be-built network that will serve to further the development of electric transportation. In his opinion buying an electric vehicle today is a responsible decision, because the cost of both electric cars and electric public transport vehicles are more competitive. He stressed that the Hungarian government is also dedicated to the advancement of electric vehicles, as it has secured 4 billion HUF for the City of Budapest to purchase 20 electric buses. The buses, which have been on the road for 3 months now, have been warmly welcomed by the passengers, too. He mentioned that the Hungarian government have recently announced a tender for local governments in the amount of 1.25 billion HUF to set up electric charging stations, potentially creating over 1000 charging points around the country. Finally, the minister congratulated the globe-trotting teams, including the Hungarian participants who are competing in the rally’s North American and European sections with the electric Modulo bus.
Csaba Mészáros, president and owner of the evopro group mentioned that he himself have driven the bus a lot in the American section of the ’80 edays’ rally, because he is also committed to electric mobility. In his view, switching to public transportation is in the interest of all of us, and with the 20 electric Modulo buses that are already in use, and which were developed and manufactured in Hungary, electric transportation becomes available for everyone. Regarding the just inaugurated rapid charging station he mentioned that it’s the result of a 2 year long cooperation between Hungarian small and medium enterprises and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He said that this is additional proof that the Hungarian industry can be not just a supplier, but also a product developer helping advance electric mobility.
István Lepsényi, State Secretary for Economic Development and Regulation at the Ministry of National Economy, announced that any town with a population of at least 15 thousand can apply for the procurement of electric chargers. The plan is to establish a 1.25 billion HUF grant for 500 charging stations and 1000 charging points around the country. The Hungarian government will do everything in its power to help develop electric mobility, favoring Hungarian innovations as exemplified by the composite electric Modulo buses that are already on the roads.
According to János Ungár, president of the Hungarian Electromobility Association, the cost of the batteries which currently make up 40-50% of the cost of an electric car can drop sharply after 2020. While in 2008 one kilowatt-hour capacity cost 1000 USD, by 2020 it can be as low as 100 USD. Starting in 2018 purely electric cars will appear that will surpass the mobility needs of the average drivers with ranges over 300km at prices under 10 million HUF. This price can drop another 20% by the year 2020 thanks to the reduced cost of the batteries. He highlighted that advancements in the technology and vehicle manufacturing are not enough – the government’s role is very important in the development of the infrastructure. Finally, he expressed the need to help raise awareness for electric mobility by all means and with the involvement of everyone, because it is still a serious obstacle in the expansion of environmentally friendly technologies.
András Lukács, president of the Clean Air Action Group, stressed that the spread of electric buses would raise the quality of mass transportation, as they are not just zero emission, but they can also play a huge role in reducing noise pollution. Citing data from the European Environment Agency he mentioned that around 30% of the population of the EU is regularly exposed to noise levels above health limits. According to their own measurements electric buses cause hundreds of times less noise than diesel buses. He also drew attention to the high efficiency of electric motors, which is over 90%, while diesel engines have an efficiency of 40% at best, therefore electric buses use 40% less energy compared to similarly sized diesel buses.
Rafael de Mestre, chief organizer of the ’80edays’ around-the-world rally for electric cars, was convinced that all speakers spoke the same language: the promotion of electric mobility is important for everyone. That’s exactly the reason why this event was established, too: to promote the advantages and the reliability of sustainable transportation around the world. He expressed that people have a vested interest to live in an environmentally friendly world, and one cornerstone of that is electric transportation. He also mentioned that in order to compensate for the harmful emissions caused by the necessary transport of vehicles participating in the rally they are cooperating with an international organization in a reforestation project. As part of that they have planted around 10,000 trees already, and they hope to plant 20,000 by the time the rally ends in Barcelona to contribute to a cleaner air for our planet.
In each country they travel through the teams plant a tree along with a memorial plaque. Thus the BudaPart-Kopaszi dam will be a mandatory stop at the next ’80edays ZERO’ rally to be held in 2020. Participating teams can be followed on an online map and on social media.
’80edays’ links: www.80edays.com, www.facebook.com/80edays,
To follow the Hungarian team: www.facebook.com/modulobus, https://twitter.com/80edays_hun , www.modulo.hu/80edays
József Helmich, email@example.com, +36703755052