Lítačka will charge electric cars

The green public transit card is getting more and more features

The Lítačka card, which replaced the now defunct Opencard, is becoming more useful not only in Prague but in the surrounding Central Bohemia region.

People will be able to use it to charge electric cars or bikes at Pražská energetika (PRE) charging stations. Soon in Central Bohemia people should be able to use the green-colored card on trains. And you won’t even need an actual card. An electronic version is planned for smartphones.

People most often use it currently to hold public transit tickets for Prague’s trams, buses and the metro, though it has also been used as a school ID in a pilot program.

“I see the support of electromobility as a logical step in the interest of cleaner transport,” Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said.

“The expansion of electromobility will bring Prague a reduction in the carbon footprint and improve the environment, which will have a positive impact on Prague citizens’ health,” she added.

In order to be able to charge vehicles with the Lítačka card, the driver or cyclist must have, in addition to the card, a signed contract for the use of charging services in the PRE station network. Currently, the company has about 70 recharging stations and plans to build more.

“There is no need to store money on the card; it only serves as an identifier for charging,” Krnáčová said. People who use the service will get an invoice every three months. The client will have 21 days to pay for the electricity.

Electric cars are still relatively rare but that should change. Currently, over 5,000 electric vehicles are registered in the Czech Republic with the vast majority in Prague.

The city is preparing to use more electric vehicles, and also is encouraging the development of infrastructure for private owners. Estimated annual sales of these cars in the Czech Republic should increase to 7,000 by 2020.

In 2017 Prague’s network of charging stations has about 100 public places, of which 11 were fast-charging units, where the battery could be recharged from zero to 80 percent in 20 minutes. The city plans to build 50 fast and nine medium-speed charging points for about Kč 27 million by the end of 2019.

“We will place fast-charging stations in high-traffic and population-intensive streets, where you can charge vehicles in a tens of minutes. These are suitable for locations with a high frequency of visits, such as hospitals, offices or major streets, Medium speed chargers will be at P + R car parks, where users park their cars for a longer period of time, and then mostly travel by public transport,” Operátor ICT’s Smart Prague division director Vladimír Zadina. Operátor ICT developed the Lítačka card and oversees the city’s technology programs.

PRE spokesman Petr Holubec said the company plans to greatly expand the electromobility infrastructure with 90 new chargers in the coming years in residential housing projects.

In July, the Smart Prague website and its social networks will have a map of Prague that will allow people to vote on where they would like charging stations.

Mayor Krnáčová said In August the city wants to launch an application so any smartphone can be used as a card, and people will no longer need to carry a physical card.

In the future, the card can be used on suburban railway lines. Now it is only valid in the area of the city.

The Lítačka card was launched in March 2016. It replaced the scandal-plagued Opencard, which was launched in 2007 with unfavorable contracts and an opaque structure. Several convictions over the Opencard affair eventually were handed down in courts.

Ever since Lítačka was introduced, Opencard has been being phased out. The Opencard system finally ended June 12 of this year and no Opencards are valid anymore.

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