Taking a long trip is still a fear for many people who would like to buy an electric car. That is why some car manufacturers are investing millions of reais in building toll stations on some of the country’s highways.
One of them is Volvo, which opened the brand’s first charging station on the highway, located in Cajati (SP), more than 230 km from the capital of São Paulo. The construction of the point is part of the first phase of the charging station plan announced by Volvo, which will be divided into five phases. The initial phase envisages the construction of 13 stations in the Southeast region and in Paraná, covering a total area of 3,250 kilometers of highway.
that’s why UOL cars flew to Curitiba (PR) and back to São Paulo (SP) driving a C40. The plan was to leave the capital of Paraná and stop at Cajati before finishing the journey. It is important to remember that it will be possible to even reach 405 km without recharging, but the mission will be very dangerous.
By knowing the charging suspension, I made the ride more peaceful. After driving more than 180 km, I pulled the C40 with 59% battery charge. The 150 kW station is compatible with type 2 plugs, the European standard found in almost all electric vehicles sold in Brazil.
The opening ceremony of the charging point (which has two spaces and can be used by any electric vehicle) was attended by authorities from Cajati, including the mayor of the city, Luiz Koga (PSDB).
After 40 minutes, the C40 was already more than 90% charged and we were able to drive the remaining 226 kilometers to São Paulo, where we arrived with 12%.
understand the needs
Several Volvo representatives also attended the event, including Luis Rezende, president of Volvo Cars Latin America, and João Oliveira, managing director of operations and innovation at Volvo Car Brazil.
The executives enjoying the launch of the first Volvo road power station which is one of the biggest promoters of electricity distribution in the country. In addition to committing to selling electric models (hybrid or electric), the company has already financed the construction of 1,000 charging stations. When asked if the investment was worth it, Luis Rezende didn’t hesitate.
“Definitely yes, because it has to do with how we want people to see the brand. Some manufacturers looked for partner companies to make the channels work, but we handle everything on our own. So all this knowledge we get. It’s already worth the investment. Even because, when the competitors Ours are discussing which type of propulsion to choose, we are thinking which type of loader is best”, he said.
Rezende also commented on the needs of those who own an electric car and admitted that Volvo is still studying the best decisions to serve its customers.
“We still understand what consumers need. For some people, a fast charger in the city may not make much sense. But, at the same time, it can be attractive because there is bureaucracy to install a station in the condominium where the customer ends up charging there”, he reflected.
With knowledge of the Brazilian market, João (who also heads Abeifa, the car importers’ association) believes that the spread of electric vehicles depends on two main factors.
“I believe that (the spread of) electric mobility will depend on the willingness of consumers to try new things and the speed with which brands will use new technologies”, he declared.
Ethanol may not be the best way out
The two leaders also commented on the idea that ethanol could be a viable alternative to biofuels in the future that would spell the end of combustion engines. Luis, by the way, even remembered the Chinese brand that had arrived in the country.
“There are a lot of people talking about ethanol and I respect that vision, but, at the same time, we have a brand like Great Wall investing R$ 10 billion in electricity distribution in Brazil. Is this not the way to go?” , he asked.
João talked about the possibility of developing a fuel cell powered by ethanol, but suggested that the idea could set Brazil apart from the rest of the automotive industry.
“I think it is an interesting solution, but then we would be left with something that is only for us. Or more for countries that have some way of producing ethanol,” he concluded.