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Switzerland installs first high alpine electric car charging point

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Switzerland installs first high alpine electric car charging point
Photo: Nathalie Palud
10:29 CET+01:00
Owners of electric cars who intend to drive up the high altitude Great St Bernard pass need no longer worry about recharging in advance.
Last December, the Swiss side of the Great St Bernard Tunnel that crosses from Switzerland into Italy installed a fast charging station for electric vehicles, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
 
The tunnel, at around 1,900m altitude, produces its own green electricity using a hydroelectric power station in a cave built at the same time as the tunnel.
 
Passing this green energy on to vehicle owners through the charging station “carries on the spirit of the pioneers who built the tunnel and its hydroelectric production unit,” said Olivier Français, chairman of the board of the company that runs the tunnel.
 
Speaking to The Local, a spokesman for the company said since the charging station opened in December “a dozen” customer had used it. 
 
It may not be the only high altitude charging point for long. The Italian side of the pass intends to follow suit during 2017, said the company.
 
Built in 1964, the Great St Bernard Tunnel was the first road traffic tunnel through the Alps. It bypasses the alpine pass above to provide a quicker route from the Swiss canton of Valais to the Aosta region of Italy. 
 
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