Image: Neoenergia

Brazil energy distributor Neoenergia has started developing an 1,100km electric vehicle (EV) charging ‘green corridor’.

The corridor will connect the state capitals of Salvador in Bahia and Natal in Rio Grande do Norte, where Neoenergia has a presence through its distribution subsidiaries Coelba and Cosern.

Cities that will be connected include Aracaju, Maceió, Recife and Joao Pessoa, with the route passing through 70 municipalities in six northeastern states. This is expected to open up emobility to thousands of potential new EV drivers.

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The first phase of the project is taking place in Salvador and includes an evaluation of EVs on urban routes prior to opening the recharging stations to the public. Six all electric and hybrid vehicles are being tested to evaluate their performance in normal day to day use and to define any improvements.

The route will comprise a total of 18 recharging points. Of these, 12 will be of the supercharger type, offering 30-minute fast charging for several vehicles simultaneously and will be located in the six state capitals. The other six of the Wallbox type for a single vehicle at a time will be installed in urban areas and commercial centres.

“This is an important step for Neoenergia, as we will develop a business model for the viability and functionality of the green corridor,” says José Brito, corporate director of R&D at Neoenergia.

“We recognize the importance of guaranteeing sustainable development through measures aimed at combating climate change and investment in emobility forms part of that commitment.”

He adds that the company is studying the use of solar energy to power the charging stations.

The ‘green corridor’ project falls under regulator Aneel’s R&D programme and forms part of Neoenergia’s emobility drive to stimulate the use of EVs and decarbonise the economy.

Neoenergia as part of the initiative also is developing an app to support drivers with data on their vehicle and tariffs and payments among other information.

For its part Neoenergia has started to switch its own vehicle fleet to EVs and is installing chargers at all its regional and administrative offices. The company has invested in an electric truck for use in distribution network maintenance services.

The initiative is due to be completed by mid-2021 when it will become the longest emobility corridor in Brazil.