Collaboration and efficiency drive urban EV charging infrastructure expansion

Description

By the end of 2021 there were over 6 MIO EVs sold, exceeding the 15 MIO global EV stock.  EVs accounted for 8.1% share of the total market according to EVVolumes report 

By Q3 in 2021, more than 1.5 million new plug-in vehicles were registered in the EU (up 105% year-over-year), which represents over 17% of the market. In fact, in December 2021 alone more than 20 percent of new cars sold in Europe and Britain were powered solely by electricity, which was the first time that sales of electric vehicles surpassed diesel 

Today, EV drivers in Europe can access over 350.000 charge points, and the EU Green Deal targets to reach over 1 million public charge points by 2025. Though many European countries introduced some form of incentives in support of EV transition, the charging infrastructure remains one of the major roadblocks for switch to electric.  

In December 2021 Porsche Slovenija published a short documentary showcasing challenges of electromobility in Slovenia that reflect in many countries around Europe. Through conversations with Slovenian municipalities the documentary uncovers goals and ambitions for e-mobility and the challenges municipalities face in the deployment of supporting infrastructure for green mobility. While on the national level Slovenian Development Strategy introduced sustainable mobility goals and measures, the delivery on local level does not always go according to plan.   

Both the state and the municipalities certainly play their respective significant roles in the EV charging infrastructure rollout – most often cited barrier for EV transition. However in many cases they forgot to address the most critical areas, for example urban residential areas where private charging infrastructure cannot be introduced or charging hubs for last mile delivery. Some of the larger European cities have already set good examples in deploying the much needed EV charging locations.  

In London, for instance, they have realized that rapid charge points are essential to support transport infrastructure to make the switch from diesel to electric. They allow high mileage users, such as taxi drivers, buses, and last-mile delivery fleets, to charge their electric vehicles during short breaks. Alongside rapid charge points, the Mayor of London is working with London Councils to help their boroughs install slower standard charge points on residential streets. These have an excellent value for residents without access to off-street parking and private chargers. 

Furthermore, London is part of initiatives such as the Go Ultra Low City Scheme (GULCS), which aims to provide funding to local authorities in the UK to deliver a range of projects to support the uptake of zero emissions vehicles. In turn, this will support the UK’s thriving Zero-emission vehicle market, improve air quality in urban hotspots and help the government meet its emission-cutting targets (read more). 

In Norway, consumer demand has been driven by a raft of generous incentives introduced by the Norwegian government since 2009 to make owning and operating electric vehicles cheaper than their fossil fuel powered equivalents. These include no import tax, no VAT, free parking, free passing through the toll rings, access to bus lanes, and free transport on ferries. The Norwegian government also embarked on establishing at least two fast-charging stations every 50 km on all main roads (read more). 

Through the EU Green Deal recovery package, funds are allocated to the field of clean transportation infrastructure, however project preparations are a major hurdle. In general, the problem lies in the fact that companies and municipalities do not have prepared projects or have regulated building permits and land purchases. A good example of this was again set in London with the Mayor’s establishment of the world’s first Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Taskforce, bringing together representatives from business, energy, infrastructure, government, and the London boroughs. Such an approach allows faster identification of problematic/priority areas, informed project planning and well-thought-out procurement tenders (read more).  

Setting up adequate charging infrastructure is a massive project and can only be achieved if the public and private sector come together. Such infrastructure is not only in the interest of the municipality, but it is also an opportunity for the development of local business and tourism. When planning an investment in charging infrastructure, partnering with a knowledgeable solution provider is a great advantage. Through carefully defined needs and gaps that need to be addressed through the project, the infrastructure will be placed on the right spots with satisfactory utilization rates. 

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