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WattHub: world’s first fast-charging plaza for lorries and heavy construction equipment

Posted on December 13, 2022

Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 8 December 2022 – A unique and innovative fast-charging plaza for electric-powered heavy equipment and lorries will soon be constructed along the A15 motorway in the Netherlands. Partners Van Oord, Dura Vermeer, Ploegam and Betuwewind are developing this world premiere under the name WattHub. Preparations will start in February and the charging plaza will be operational by the end of April. Situated amidst wind turbines and solar panels, it will of course be powered with renewable electricity supplied by Betuwewind.

The motivation for the new charging plaza is the Tiel-Waardenburg dyke reinforcement project, carried out by Van Oord, Dura Vermeer and Ploegam, partners in the Mekante Diek project consortium. The aim is to make the dyke reinforcement project a zero-emissions endeavour. There are, as yet, no fast-charging plazas suitable for heavy equipment and lorries, which is why the companies have teamed up to develop the plaza themselves.

World’s first fast-charging plaza for heavy equipment

The new plaza will be the world’s first public charging plaza designed specifically for lorries and heavy equipment. With 39 charging stations and a scheduling system, there will always be enough charging points to go around, with customers being assured that they can charge their vehicles at the reserved time slot. In addition, the plaza will have a charging capacity of up to 600 kW per charging point, a speed not yet available elsewhere in the Netherlands.

‘The aim is to make Mekante Diek a completely emissions-free project. This would not be possible without the WattHub charging plaza. It’s great that the project will not only make the dyke safer but also deliver a fast-charging plaza for heavy equipment that – like the dyke itself – will be available to everyone.’

— Mekante Diek Construction Manager Tom Rensen

WattHub, a charging plaza for the entire region

Beyond the project itself, the entire region will benefit from this initiative because the charging plaza has more capacity than the project requires. This additional capacity can be used by local businesses and suppliers with similar charging needs. Many local operators are denied a heavy-duty connection by the grid operator, making electrification of their fleet and equipment difficult. The new charging plaza means that these businesses can invest in sustainable equipment and achieve their sustainability targets.

‘We’re enormously proud that we can make this happen with our partners. This unique achievement and innovation will also have benefits for the region as a whole. Local businesses can now accelerate their investment in sustainable equipment. It’s a great feeling to know we are making that possible.’

— Betuwewind Managing Director Gerlach Velthoven
A recent ruling by the Netherlands’ highest court overturning the exemption from nitrogen emission rules for all building activities has heightened the sense of urgency surrounding zero emissions in the construction sector. The development of the first public charging plaza for heavy equipment and lorries marks an important step towards a sector based on renewable energy and zero nitrogen emissions.
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