Major transport and energy groups sound alarm on E-Mobility: Europe must accelerate infrastructure plans
Europe’s key industry players and NGOs push Member States to show more urgency and publish their plans for crucial e-mobility infrastructure
The EU needs to accelerate its electro-mobility (e-mobility) revolution according to the organizations that will lead it in the coming decade. The diverse group – including some of the most well known companies and NGOs in Europe* - wants EU member states to show much more urgency in their plans to harness the diverse range of technologies needed to make clean electricity the dominant power source for transport, both between and within European cities.
A joined-up and accessible network of charging stations, including normal, fast and smart charging, is a sine qua non if Europeans are to benefit from the huge strides in e-mobility technologies. Under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive 2014, member states were required to submit their plans for supporting charging infrastructure by the end of 2016 – but around half of them still have not done so.
As Nicolas Erb, Chair of the Platform on Electro-mobility, noted: "Europe has a huge opportunity to win on so many fronts with e-mobility. For a start, we’ll recover the €1 billion or so a day Europe currently spends on high-polluting oil; we’ll hugely increase access to mobility; we’ll create high-quality jobs and we’ll save countless lives by cutting air pollution. Just look at railways, from trams to high-speed trains, which are already largely electrified and much more energy-efficient than other modes. E-mobility may be a quiet revolution but it’s a crucial one. Besides metros and tramways, there are now over two million electric vehicles on the world’s roads – so we are at a tipping point – but we need to change-up a gear to really make it happen. And that’s what the 25 organizations that form our Platform are calling for today."
(Further quotes from members below)
Alongside the timely implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, the Platform’s members are also pressing Member States for:
• More charging stations: Meet fast growing consumer needs by committing to more publicly accessible charging stations – including along major roads as well as in urban areas – and by supporting the set-up of infrastructure for electric buses in public transport
• More flexibility: Encourage innovation by allowing for more flexibility on connector requirements for all car-charging stations and for electric buses – ensuring that European citizens and public authorities have full confidence in the viability of their vehicles.
• Simpler permitting and financing: Promote best practice for e-mobility by simplifying permitting procedures and coordinating financial incentives across Europe
• Greater provision for vehicle charging from buildings: Most electric vehicles recharge during the day while a vehicle is parked (e.g. at home or at work). So policymakers should include greater provisions for electric vehicle charging in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. At the same time, permitting and approval procedures for existing buildings should be simplified to allow owners and tenants to deploy recharging points.
• Increased resources for Connecting Europe Facility: Use the mid- term revision of the European budget (Multi-Annual Financial Framework) to increase the resources for further electrification of all transport modes
• Genuine Multimodality at the heart of eMobility strategy: generate huge synergies across the whole economy by ensuring that electrified public and private transport modes (from metros to e-bikes) are fully integrated into a low carbon energy system
Launched at the end of last year, the Platform on Electro-mobility is the first time such a diverse alliance of industry, operators, infrastructure managers, transport users, cities and civil society organizations has come together around a single vision
– the electrification of transport – of achieving numerous, identified benefits: emissions reductions, efficiency gains, better consumer services, job creation and better health.
The next steps will be to integrate, for example, rail and road-based electric vehicles with smart grids based on innovative technologies, standards and advanced market rules.
Quotes from Members:
UNIFE (Philippe Citroën, Director General)
“Rail is already the largest provider of electromobility in Europe. This prominent role should be further enhanced in a multimodal framework to achieve decarbonisation of transport.”
Bellona (Jonas Helseth, Director Bellona Europa)
“Electro-mobility offers a solution to several of our greatest challenges today. In addition to supporting the attainment of our climate objectives through reducing direct emissions from transport and providing storage for renewable electricity, as well as reducing our heavy dependence on imported oil, electro-mobility can aid our fight against Europe’s biggest killer: dangerous levels of air pollution. With a quarter of its new car sales being electric in Norway, choosing an electric vehicle is no longer the exception. As the electric revolution spreads across the continent, it will be key for all actors involved in the value chains of energy and transport to strategically position themselves in this race. Failure to do so will come at the expense of the continent’s industrial competitiveness and viability.”
CER (Libor Lochman, Executive Director)
“About 80% of Europe’s rail traffic is already electrified. Being one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly modes of transport, the rail sector already contributes to seamless door-to-door electro-mobility.”
CHAdeMO (Tokomo Blech, representative of CHAdeMO Association Europe)
“With a dense, fast charging network of EV charging infrastructure to complement the daily primary charging at home and office, range anxiety will no longer be an obstacle for EV adoption. CHAdeMO, the only standardised solution of bi-directional charging for mass-production EVs, continues to strive for technological innovation in V2X, a crucial element for a switch to renewables and one that enables using EVs as both vehicles and portable batteries.”
Ecostandards (Thomas Willson, policy officer)
“It is possible for Europe to have an electro-mobility infrastructure that is interoperable, secure and cost-effective to substantially reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector. Ambitious standards and clean transport policy are crucial to achieve this goal.”
EUROBAT (Alfons Westgeest, Executive Director)
“Batteries are at the very heart of the shift towards sustainable transport. Various battery technologies contribute to decarbonisation and offer improved performance and lifetime: a strong EU battery production base will therefore be key to ensure the competitiveness of the European energy and transport sectors.”
EURELECTRIC (Kristian Ruby, Secretary General)
“Electrification of transport is a key part of the solution to Europe’s energy transition. With 56% of all electricity generated across the EU coming from carbon-free sources already today, the fuel switch to EVs delivers significantly on energy efficiency and GHG reductions. Apart from clean power and new EV technology, we must ensure that sufficient charging infrastructure for EVs is put in place across Europe, and that we tap the vast potential of smart charging which can facilitate the energy transition as it offers huge benefits to the electricity system and to final customers.”
European Copper Institute (Hans De Keulenaer, Director - Energy & Electricity)
“Each electric vehicle on the road saves annually over a thousand liters of fuel, a thousand euro in fuel cost and three tons of CO2. Through its DecarbEurope initiative, European Copper Institute promotes the substantial contribution that electric vehicles can make to EU energy and climate objectives.”
Renault-Nissan (Marie-France Van-der-Valk, Head of Brussels Office)
“Electrification of transport is underway with more and more examples of its benefits for our societies. It is more important than ever that public authorities fully support the development of a regulatory framework and infrastructure network enabling us to tap its full potential.”
Smart Energy Demand Coalition (Grace Murray, SEDC Senior Policy Adviser)
"Emobility is not only a cleaner and healthier mode of transport, but has the potential to be a significant source of flexibility in the overall energy system. The smart charging of electric vehicles acts as balancing and storage for the electricity grid and is an important component of a smart home, crucial for consumer empowerment."
Transport & Environment (Yoann Le Petit, Clean Vehicles and Emobility Officer)
“As Europe decarbonized its electricity supply, electro-mobility provides a unique solution to clean up Europe's vehicles. Emobility also contributes to drastically reducing noise and pollutant emissions, thus addressing crucial public health issues of concern for EU citizens.”
UITP (Umberto GUIDA, Director of Research & Innovation)
“The Public Transport stakeholders are ready to take their role in promoting a wider introduction of electric public mobility in the cities as one of the action that contribute to decarbonisation of urban mobility. In this regard, electric rail transport and clean, electric buses improve the public health and quality of life for all citizens: they eliminate air pollutant tailpipe emissions and reduce noise. Of course, for this to happen, there is a strong need that the necessary infrastructure for bus charging is deployed in a fast and efficient way.”
*The Platform for Electro-Mobility is a European alliance of 25 producers, infrastructure managers, operators, transport users, cities and civil society organizations (members are listed in the notes)