From large cities to smaller urban areas, across Europe local authorities are working on the rollout of charging stations and shared mobility services across their regions.
They are looking to combat poor air quality and traffic congestion through the rise of electromobility and the services that go with it. Many European towns have already introduced tough road traffic restrictions, and have published plans to ban certain vehicles from downtown areas at some point in the future, with varying time frames.
By 2020, there will be nearly 200,000 public charging stations across Europe, or around one charging station per 10 electric cars on the road, which is in line with the European Commission recommendations. This will mean large-scale installation projects in cities, where the number of electric vehicles has increased sharply in recent years. For example, in Oslo (Norway) local authorities are currently adding a further 600 charging stations (of which 400 are fast charge) to the 1,300 existing ones. This figure is not surprising when you consider that in 2018 one in every three cars sold in Norway was electric.
In Paris there are currently 1,282 public charging stations, compared to some 4,000 in London (UK). In Amsterdam, which has a population of only 800,000 (compared to 8.1 million in London and 2.1 million in Paris), there are some 3,000 public charging stations. At the same time, the capital of the Netherlands has announced plans to prohibit gas and diesel cars by 2030.
In more sparsely populated regions, measures are also being introduced, albeit on a smaller scale. In France, for example, the city of Saint-Etienne (in the mid-east) plans to roll out 100 electric charging stations (of which 20 are fast charge) by 2020 as part of its “e.Totem” project.
Besides increasing the number of charging stations, local authorities are taking advantage of their fleet renewals to include a large proportion of electric cars. This is one of the biggest support measures for electromobility and for the automotive industry, which from January 1st, 2020, must increase the sales of electric vehicles compared to those of combustion engine cars so as to stay in line with the average CO2 emission level dictated by EU regulations.
To increase the number of charging stations even more quickly, some local authorities (Paris, London, Berlin, New York and Vendée region in the west of France) are testing the possibility of charging via a 8 or 16-amp street lamp, which suits plug-in hybrid vehicles particularly well, for example. In communal parking lots too, new semi-fast charging stations (from 7.4 to 11 kW) offer further possibilities.
Regional authorities are also promoting electromobility by installing roadside charging stations. The construction work is often partly government-funded. For example, in France, under the “Local Authorities” section of the Advenir program, government assistance pays 2,160 euros per charging station, covers 75% of the electricity grid connection fee (within 500 meters of the home or workplace of the applicant and electric vehicle owner/user).
Some regional authorities are teaming their traffic restriction measures and the development of charging infrastructure with smart shared mobility solutions. Examples of this can be found in Madrid (Spain) and Paris (France) with Zity, and Bologna (Italy) with Corrente. These two measures make it easy to use their respective fleets of 500 and 280 Renault ZOEs. There are similar measures set up in Porto Santo (Madeira, Portugal) and Belle-Île-en-Mer (France), where the programs are also supported by Renault.
Moreover, some places like Utrecht in the Netherlands and Presqu’île in Grenoble (France) are getting two-way charging stations. Not only can they charge electric vehicles, they can also feed the energy stored in their batteries back into the grid where necessary. This new concept called “V2G” (Vehicle to Grid) is set to develop further in the coming years.
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