Electric Highway Eyed For Bratislava-Vienna

The highway between Bratislava, Slovakia, and Vienna, Austria, may become a green transportation corridor, thanks to a network of electric charging stations. Toward that end, IBM has joined forces with Západoslovenská energetika (ZSE), the largest distributor and supplier of electricity in Slovakia, on a smart energy feasibility study designed to help prepare the capital city Bratislava for electric vehicles (EVs).

Formerly part of Czechoslovakia (the other part of which is now the Czech Republic), Slovakia has only officially been a county since 1993, but it’s no stranger to the rising fuel prices that have spurred the adoption of electric vehicles elsewhere in Europe. According to Guido Bartels, General Manager of IBM’s Global Energy and Utilities Industry, increasingly steep fuel costs — along with with aging roads and infrastructures — can affect city planning, local economy and overall community satisfaction. “This mobility project with ZSE tackles all of these issues,” he said in a statement. “It has the potential to introduce a modern, convenient and more intelligent way for consumers to commute, which in turn may encourage more to make the shift to an electric vehicle, while reducing stress on the energy grid.”

electric vehicle charging, austria slovakia highway

image via Shutterstock

The aim of the feasibility study is to identify new opportunities around e-mobility in Bratislava and maximize the market potential for electric vehicles, in an effort to reduce emissions. By analyzing grid capacity, EV needs and different possible distribution networks for various types of vehicle charging/recharging, the study may open the way to encouraging EV adoption while making Slovakia’s electricity grid smarter and more responsive.

IBM Slovakia is teaming with ZSE on the study to provide insights into various implementation scenarios and infrastructure options for charging. Together, the companies are investigating locations for both normal and rapid charging stations across the borders, as well as analyzing networking availability. These insights are expected to allow ZSE to strategically place charging stations in the areas that will work well for consumers without straining the distribution system. More information on the study is available online.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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