08 February 2024

Alfen helps connect fast charging sites in Belgium in partnership with Electra

Almere, 8 February 2024 – Alfen, an innovative energy solutions specialist across Europe, is excited to help open Electra’s 5th fast charging location at a supermarket in Belgium. Alfen delivers transformer substations to ultrafast EV charging specialist Electra for these much-needed charging plazas to support electric mobility in Belgium and beyond. More sites will follow for at least 20 Alfen transformer substations as part of the contract between the 2 international energy companies. 

As a smart EV charging station manufacturer since 2008, Alfen is dedicated to promoting widespread electric mobility adoption in Europe. Beyond our expertise in AC charging, our portfolio of transformer substations – dating back to the 1960s – allows us to also contribute to this mission by connecting high power EV charging locations, found along highways and at retail locations, to the electricity grid. 

In the high-power charging business, it’s all about speed. Setting up a 400kW DC charging plaza requires customers like Electra to upgrade or establish a new grid connection. Here’s where Alfen’s Altro steps in. In a nutshell, the 630kVA transformer substation takes grid electricity and converts medium voltage to usable low voltage for our customers, ultimately helping drivers ‘fill up’ in just 15-18 minutes. 

This 5th installation will support a new ultrafast EV charging plaza for a supermarket in Kessel-Lo, Flanders. In response to Electra’s specific needs, we enhanced the charging station with extra safety features such as a CO2 extinguisher, an emergency stop button for swift shutdown of the chargers, and the green exterior to align with municipal building permit requirements.

“We have a great partnership with Electra,” said Hatim Ouald Chaib, Sales Manager in Belgium at Alfen. “We initially worked with Electra as an EV charging customer in France. Now we love extending this partnership by supplying our Altro substations to power their DC charging locations in Belgium. We’re proud to see more and more Altro substations in the Belgian street scape, just a year after launching this solution.” 

Project engineer Giel van Herpe from Alfen is the connector that brings together diverse teams and resources to ensure project success. “I was closely involved in the technical dossier, the medium voltage installation, planning and execution on site and the commissioning of the transformer in the medium voltage cabin of this project,” he says. “Now it’s great to see our Altro substations in action for Electra, and I’m proud that our substations are supporting high power EV charging sites throughout Belgium.”

Electra Head of Operations, Bastien Legrand, is leading his team of project managers to make the Electra network in Belgium bigger every week. “We opened 24 charging stations in 2023, and we are working to even increase the opening pace in 2024! This is possible only with strong partnerships like the one we have with Alfen. Electra is very interested in the compactness of Altro cabins, and we thank the Alfen team for their solution-oriented mindset. Collaboration between Alfen and Electra will continue in the coming years with additional cabin orders.” 

About Altro 

Designed to support Dutch and Belgian customers with their medium voltage grid connection needs, Altro is a sustainable, customisable, and safe prefab walk-in substation. 

In Belgium, Altro offers medium to low voltage configurations, initially with a power capacity of up to 630kVA – capable of expanding to 1MVA. The walk-in station was specifically designed for grid operators, owners of fast EV charging locations, industrial customers, commercial buildings, residential developments, infrastructure projects and large-scale renewable energy projects.

The station is certified by Synergrid, ensuring its safety, reliability, and high quality through rigorous testing and validation of compliance with regulations and standards.

About Alfen

At the heart of Europe’s energy transition from fossil-based to zero carbon to limit climate change by 2050, Alfen specialises in energy solutions for the future. Its integrated smart solutions are helping customers throughout Europe address their electricity challenges and achieve climate neutrality. Alfen continuously builds on its more than 85 years of innovation with its smart grids, energy storage systems and EV charging stations installed in some 30 countries throughout Europe. 

Alfen’s smart grid solutions offer standardised connection systems, transformer substations, local power grids, devices for grid automation, and software for remote management and grid control. Alfen also builds privately-owned electricity grids for companies like greenhouse horticulturalists, industrial companies, and solar park contractors.

Alfen’s rich history of building transformer substations started in the 1960s. Today, Alfen has delivered over 45,000 transformer substations throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. Its Alfen offers 3 types of substations: compact stations, walk-in stations, and customised stations that can be delivered in a range of finishes. Alfen’s walk-in stations like Altro are a modular and flexible solution that allows for customised installations. Its robust housing is constructed with high-quality concrete and is designed with a projected technical lifespan of up to 75 years, providing durability and longevity.