Epyon, a small Dutch startup, is showing the big boys how it's done with its recently unveiled fast-charging station for electric vehicles. Billed as Europe's first commercially available charger of its kind, this unit will recharge anything up to a nine-seater taxi van within 30 minutes, thanks to its 50 kilowatts of power capacity. It's now installed alongside more conventional petrol and diesel refilling points in a fueling station over in Leeuwarden. That's the capital city of Friesland, a Dutch province that has set itself the ambitious goal of having 100,000 EVs on its roads by 2015. That aim is shared by the wider European Union as well, which yesterday agreed on defining a common electric recharging standard, whose universality might attract skeptical consumers and more cautious investors into the field. They've set themselves a deadline of "mid-2011," though the broad outlines and new incentives for buying greener cars are likely to appear by the end of this year.

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Europe gets first fast-charging EV station, hungers for more