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Rapid charging for Grand Poitiers

To speed up the energy transition and meet the demands of the increasing number of electric vehicle (EV) drivers on the roads, several high-power charging stations have been installed in the urban community of Grand Poitiers by SOREGIES.

Meet the first rapid charger installed by a local authority in France

In September 2019, SOREGIES, the departmental energy union of Vienne, installed the first high-power EVBox charging station for the urban community of Grand Poitiers. This 100 per cent green energy infrastructure is the first of six high-power stations to be installed by the department. This paves the way for a new community service for citizens: high-power charging to connect the community with the wider national network.

SOREGIES & Vienne, pioneers of clean mobility

Convinced that the deployment of charging infrastructure is one of the engines for accelerating the adoption of electric mobility, SOREGIES has been interested in developing its network since 2012. It has since connected the territory of Vienne with 22 kW AC charging stations and currently operates a network of 132 charging stations.

In 2018, thanks to the support of the urban community and the VIENNE ENERGIES Syndicate, SOREGIES is stepping up its game and embarking on a mission to deploy high-power charging. In order to adapt to new electric vehicle technologies and to anticipate future use, it has chosen to expand its network with seven EVBox Ultroniq high-power charging stations.

The network's first high-power charging station was installed in September 2019 and was inaugurated at the launch of the annual Nouvelle Aquitaine Electrique Tour rally. Very quickly, the charging station was spotted by the drivers of various mobility service providers (MSP), generating several daily visits in the first days. The high-power station is also used daily by an electric minibus from the municipality.


AC and DC charging stations operated by SOREGIES


green energy


first EVBox Ultroniq installed

The strategic importance of the location of your charging stations

Installing a high-power charging station for electric vehicles represents a significant investment. Lyonel Gilli, SOREGIES’ Industrial Project Development Director, shared some valuable advice on how to choose the right location in order to save money on installation and make the terminals more profitable over time:

  1. Choose a location close to the power grid. Choosing a good site with a direct substation from the transformer saves connection costs.
  2. Choose a location with a good 3G network. Charging stations are connected devices. This allows them to communicate with the various mobility operators and supervision software, but also to carry out automatic updates of their firmware. Choosing a location with a good 3G network is therefore essential.
  3. Choose a location in a high traffic area. Lyonel Gilli also recommends installing high-power stations near roads with a high flow of vehicles, such as main roads (highways, national, local) or ring roads near cities. For example, the first high-power station of SOREGIES is located on the main road along the D162 which joins Angoulême, Poitiers, Châtellerault, and Tours.
  4. Choose an attractive location close to shops and restaurants. Considering it takes between 15 and 30 minutes to charge, think of the EV driver and offer them the possibility to grab a coffee, get something to eat, or do some shopping. Installing high-power charging stations near shops and restaurants will attract more EV drivers.
  5. Choose a parking lot that is a sufficient size. To deliver the power needed for high-power charging stations, large electrical cabinets called EVBox Power Units are needed to transform the current. They are then connected to an EVBox User Unit, or visible parts of the terminals equipped with cables for recharging. It’s therefore important to think about the space that will be required to accommodate these terminals.

As Lyonel Gilli, Director of Industrial Project Development, SOREGIES explained:

"The high-power stations were installed because they meet a need, we have a very high utilisation rate. This is great because they must be used as much as possible to make the investment profitable."

EVBox, a trusted partner to get started in high-power charging

The Grand Poitiers station marked SOREGIES’ debut in high-power DC charging. From the start of the project until commissioning, the teams of the Viennese energy union have been able to count on the expertise and support of the EVBox team at the Bordeaux site. Being geographically close made a difference when selecting EVBox as a partner, with its Bordeaux site housing Research & Development and the production of EVBox rapid and high-power chargers. Gilli shared:

"I appreciated the quality of service and the high-quality equipment. We are pioneers, and we can learn together with trusted partners."

It should also be noted that the energy union is part of a holistic decarbonisation approach by supplying its EV charging stations with green energy made from 100 per cent renewable energy.

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