Major cities in Central Europe could be connected via a green highway developed in the next decade by IBM and ZSE. IBM Slovakia has created a partnership with Slovakian utility ZSE to study the feasibility of green vehicle infrastructure connecting Bratislava and Vienna. This collaboration fits within a regional partnership called Vienna Bratislava E-mobility (VIBRATe) working toward EV adoption within Central Europe. A feasibility study produced by IBM and ZSE within the next year should determine if VIBRATe works within the current context of consumer demand and technical capabilities from utilities.
The primary goal for IBM and ZSE is to assess myriad approaches to EV infrastructure that could thrive within the region. ZSE hopes to map out prime locations for standard charging stations and quick chargers to maximize driver use. The mapping process requires reviews of daily traffic patterns and the location of utility grids that could serve charging stations. A major concern for ZSE is developing a continuous EV infrastructure in a region where grid access is variable from city to city.
IBM and ZSE are major partners within the VIBRATe project that has already attracted attention from the Slovakian and Austrian governments. VIBRATe is supported by local governments in Bratislava and Vienna, the European Union and the Austrian Ministry of Economic Affairs. The project has also drawn expertise and funds from utilities in both countries, which should help the green highway function properly when built. Vienna and Bratislava are already considered sister cities and hope to tighten their economic relationship by investing in charging technology. This project could serve more than three million residents between Vienna and Bratislava who would otherwise use gas-guzzling cars.
VIBRATe allows Austria and Slovakia to achieve fuel-emissions reductions while serving consumers concerned about fluctuating fuel prices. This project could cut 45 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year from each commuter traveling between Vienna and Bratislava. A significant reduction in emissions would place Austria and Slovakia among the leading emissions reducers on the continent. European automakers could target Austria and Slovakia as test markets for plug-in vehicles that could yield new customers over the next decade. IBM Slovakia and ZSE also benefit by jumping ahead of regional competitors in developing EV charging infrastructure.