One of Lithuania's largest electric vehicle charging networks, Eldrive, will expand its charging points next to Rimi shopping centre stores. Over the next two years, charging stations will be set up near 46 different Rimi stores across Lithuania, with at least 260 charging points planned in this phase.
Eldrive's Lithuanian manager, Tomas Tamašauskas, says that this expansion will greatly benefit electric vehicle drivers across Lithuania: "Both Rimi and our company aim to provide better conditions for our customers through this strategic partnership. One of our main goals is to have a national-level network that allows users to travel conveniently across Lithuania. The partnership with Rimi will help us achieve this, as we currently have a wide network of stations in Vilnius and Kaunas, but lack charging points in other Lithuanian cities. This project is another step towards achieving this goal," says T. Tamašauskas.
New charging stations will be installed in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Ukmergė, Mažeikiai, Telšiai, Panevėžys, Palanga, Jonava, Kaišiadorys, Trakai, Šiauliai, and Gargždai.
Rimi's general director, Vaidas Lukoševičius, said that the emergence of electric vehicle charging points next to stores is another step towards sustainability. "Sustainability, which includes sustainable mobility, is a strategic direction for our retail network. Every day, we create a shopping experience for tomorrow, aiming for our customers to find as many innovations as possible, which allow shopping not only cheaper but also more conveniently. We are pleased that electric vehicle charging points will appear next to our stores, and we hope that this will facilitate the daily lives of the owners of these increasingly popular vehicles. A person who arrives can charge their electric vehicle during that time and leisurely shop in our shopping centres. We believe that improving infrastructure will encourage more residents to choose environmentally friendlier vehicles," said V. Lukoševičius.
Various Types of Charging Stations to Be Installed
As Eldrive's manager in Lithuania, Tomas Tamašauskas says, the company invests heavily in the acquisition of modern charging stations, so Rimi customers will have the opportunity to use the most technologically advanced charging stations on the market.
"When installing charging stations, we will consider the different formats of Rimi stores, other nearby service providers, and the number of residents in the surrounding areas. The highest priority will be given to high-power stations, where optimal charging takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Medium-power stations will be installed next to stores where customers can spend a little more time, and the electric vehicle can be fully charged in 2 hours. Well, regular power stations will mostly be designed to meet the charging needs of nearby residents, where the electric vehicle can be fully charged overnight. In some of the largest objects, we plan to install more than 20 charging points, where stations of various powers will be installed," says T. Tamašauskas.
First Charging Stations - This October
Eldrive's manager, T. Tamašauskas, says they are already preparing equipment for new stations, which should start operating this autumn: "The first stations near Rimi stores will appear in Šiauliai - Piktmiškio Street and in Gargždai - Pasienio Street. Initially, two charging points will be installed here. At all stations installed next to Rimi stores, we will monitor consumption intensity and plan to increase the number of charging points according to market needs."
At the beginning of the summer, Eldrive announced that it had received EIB board approval for a 40 million EUR loan for the entire group, intended for the expansion of the electric vehicle charging network in Europe. This is part of a total 176 million EUR investment package, aimed at installing more than 10,000 charging stations in four European Union countries.
According to data from 1st September 2023, 10,225 electric vehicles were registered in Lithuania.