Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: March 5, 2024
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini
Belgium flag

How to boost the charging of EVs and disentangle from the risks present in the Belgian energy market?

During the "International Mobility Portal Summit," organized by Mobility Portal Europe, Axel Van Lombeek from Megacharge provides an overview of the electric vehicle charging market in Belgium and outlines the solutions that the company offers to address potential challenges.
Megacharge-Mobility Portal Europe-charging
Axel Van Lombeek, Managing Director at Megacharge.

With the Netherlands in focus, Belgium anticipates potential congestion issues that its electrical grid may face due to the widespread installation and use of charging points.

Therefore, for instance, two years ago Flanders announced a significant investment plan to prepare its electrical grid for new technologies.

In the region, approximately 40 per cent of the low-voltage grid needs replacement or reinforcement, along with 13 per cent of the main lines of the medium-voltage grid and one in three electrical substations.

This entails an additional investment of 4 billion euros in the Flemish electrical grid over the next decade, not only to supply electric vehicles but also to meet the needs of heat pumps for heating and solar energy.

“The integration of various technologies and a robust network connection is something we must invest in to decouple from the risks that currently exist in the energy market,” states Axel Van Lombeek, Managing Director at Megacharge, during the “International Mobility Portal Summit” organized by Mobility Portal Europe.

He highlights potential solutions, such as adopting renewable energies and battery technology.

How can ecosystems be created, and different parties collaborate to establish a reliable infrastructure?

Megacharge seeks to address this challenge by installing reliable and available equipment while maintaining kilowatt prices at a constant level.

In Belgium, the charging point operator (CPO) operates in the regions of Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels, noting significant differences in development speed among them.

“In the Wallonia region, real times and costs related to the development of fast-charging infrastructure are considerably longer, hindering the growth of public charging points in that area,” he details.

In contrast, Flanders is experiencing a notably rapid growth in the proliferation of charging points.

This phenomenon is linked to the significant increase in the professional use of electric vehicles, further emphasized by the expansion of low-emission zones.

Currently, Belgium has over 30,000 installed charging points.

However, less than 13 per cent of these are in Wallonia, and only 315 are fast chargers with a capacity exceeding 150 kilowatts, according to information from EV Belgium.

While Flanders already has around 27,000 public charging points, Wallonia lags behind with only 3,300 stations.

EV Belgium projects that by 2025, 100,000 electric cars will be registered in Wallonia, with one in ten of these vehicles expected to have a public charging point.

The industry expresses concern about high connection costs, and some critics point out the lack of an EV infrastructure construction policy by the Walloon Government over time.

Additionally, the outdated electrical grid results in extended installation times for fast chargers, sometimes up to a year.

In light of this situation, it is imperative to implement an investment plan to accelerate infrastructure deployment, especially considering the mandatory compliance with The alternative fuels infrastructure regulation (AFIR).

In response, the Walloon region plans to invest 15 million euros to install 2,448 22 kilowatts charging points in its territory by 2026.

Installation of Megacharge charging infrastructure for eTrucks.

However, with the imminent presence of thousands of electric trucks on Belgian highways, the need for fast chargers along the routes becomes apparent.

In this regard, Megacharge excels in the field of fast charging for heavy-duty vehicles, adapting to the specific infrastructure needs of each company, facilitating the process efficiently.

The company offers a comprehensive solution, conducting a meticulous analysis of options based on location and providing specialized advice for installing fast-charging stations for eTruck fleets.

These stations have the ability to adapt in real-time to the available power grid, resulting in a complete solution to optimize operational costs.

“We always seek to align the use case with the chargers we make available,” highlights the company’s co-founder.

Furthermore, Megacharge actively works on significantly reducing prices, balancing charging costs for both alternating and direct current.

Following is the participation of Axel Van Lombeek, Managing Director of Megacharge, during the “International Mobility Portal Summit”:

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