On 14 December, the Policy Learning Platform held the final of its trilogy of e-mobility webinars, on integrating e-mobility into territorial planning.
E-mobility will have a profound impact on the wider city, affecting the electricity grid and transport flows, and therefore needs to be considered in relation to energy policy, regional development strategies, and engagement with public and private stakeholders. The webinar featured experiences from PROMETEUS, POTEnT, E-MOB and e-MOPOLI on developing e-mobility strategies and embedding e-mobility into city frameworks.
Moderation and concept by Katharina Krell and Simon Hunkin, Thematic Experts for Low-carbon economy.
00:22:49 Q&A: What would be the key message that you would like to give to national and European authorities when it comes to integrating energy and e-mobility in non-urban areas?
00:33:23 Q&A: You mention different feets as an opportunity and they are all challenging. But what would be the one that you think still needs more work, cooperation and which will take most energy for electrification?
00:46:16 Q&A: What are the projections of the fleets that you will electrify and the energy needs of these fleets? How do you see the challenge of balancing between the electrification and energy needs?
00:48:20 Q&A: How do you promote cycling at the local level? Are you working with local authorities or with European projects?
01:01:10 Q&A: How are you going to achieve your goals by cooperating with different industry sectors and public authorities? How do you foresee that the work of balancing the smart grid goals will develop in the future? What is the main challenge and what is the opportunity?
01:05:27 Q&A: Concerning territorial integration, e-mobility should not only be focussed on the urban context. What can be done to properly cover the whole territory? What kind of e-mobility support policies should be deployed by local and regional public bodies to include rural areas?
01:14:55 Q&A: E-mobility’s integration with the electricity network requires smartness, data and data management tools. What should be done to ensure better data availability and the integration of e-mobility data with energy supply and demand data, ultimately leading to a smart regional IoT for energy and mobility management?
From this webinar, we can highlight some key insights for local and regional policymakers:
- The uptake of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) will be a key part of the energy transition, enabling us to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. The Zero Emissions Vehicles Transition Council, established in November 2020, has set out its action plan, one of the main outcomes of COP26, noting that, “road transport accounts for over 10% of GHG emissions, and the total emissions are rising faster than any other sector.” E-vehicle sales are increasing, but there is also a significant role for hybrid vehicles as a transitional technology as the e-mobility market matures;
- E-vehicles will only be sustainable if they are efficient, are powered by renewable energy, and do not cause significant interruption to the electricity grid. The market is still not completely mature, and countries still need to invest more in renewable energy capacity, as well as in research for vehicle-to-grid, smart charging, and energy storage technologies;
- As well as technological development, social and business model innovation will be key to the transition, with greater use of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and shared e-mobility options, where individuals do not need to own a vehicle but can access as and when needed. As well as giving access to e-mobility, such services can also reduce congestion and help cities move away from car-focused planning, reducing the space taken up by vehicles. More work, however, is required on interoperability, business models, platforms and data security;
- Policy instruments should encourage electric and shared mobility and foster behaviour change, while also ensuring a technically and financially viable transition. Public authorities have a very important role and can help to stimulate the market with public procurement. All policy levels will have a role, with international standard setting, national incentives and frameworks, and regional and local planning;
- Transport policies are often urban-focused and rural areas need individual consideration. Specific sustainability solutions are available for rural areas, such as a shared e-mobility and on-demand systems. Mountain and rural areas are also, often, net producers of sustainable energy, with green communities and smart villages having high potential for e-mobility;
- Brescia, Italy, has developed a set of provincial guidelines for e-mobility for use by its municipalities. The guidelines integrate relevant regulations from all policy-levels, the state of play for e-mobility and charging infrastructure; a database of technical requirements, description of possible e-mobility service users, interviews with stakeholders, scenarios of e-mobility diffusion and a communication plan. The process revealed the importance of developing synergies between all political levels, as well as engaging all stakeholders, especially from the private sector, and considering different fleets, from public transport to freight vehicles;
- Pamplona, Spain, is looking to become a smart city, with several plans and strategies for the transition. The city has already made significant effort to become more sustainable, with e-mobility as a key issue, as being explored in the STARDUST project. Pamplona has significantly invested in rolling our charging infrastructure for the public, as well as fast charging for taxis, platforms for monitoring performance of e-buses, and educational campaigns for citizens to teach them about e-mobility, but also active transport. Small e-mobility (scooters, e-bikes) are also be introduced, with legislation to limit speed, engine size and parking spaces. Such personal mobility vehicles are excellent solutions for cities but need to introduced in harmony with cars and pedestrians
- The town of Paks, in Hungary, is located near to the country’s only nuclear power plant, which will be upgraded and expanded, with a significant increase in traffic expected. In response, the municipality wanted to make greater use of sustainable mobility, integrated with use of renewables and smart grids. Paks prepared a project under ELENA (European Local Energy Assistance) to prepare a smart grid project named Proteus, establishing a project company and a public transport company to implement a Green City Strategy, making use of carbon-free public transport and support a local renewable energy community. The municipality stressed the importance of holistic planning between energy and mobility, making use of locally generated energy.
- Discussions included how to tackle the territorial aspects of e-mobility, such as including rural and urban areas together in the transition. It was noted that for rural and mountainous regions less infrastructure is required, but more strategically placed, making use of micro-grids and decentralised energy generation to give communities empowerment and build acceptance;
- It was also noted that what happens at regional and local level often does not reach up to the European and national level, meaning legislation and policy instruments may not reflect regional needs. This includes Operational Programmes for European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs);
- Data management is a key challenge for e-mobility integration. Whilst data is available, it is not always public, accessible, and connected. Major consideration of privacy and data protection is needed to unlock the potential. Monitoring systems and KPIs were also emphasised as being vital for long-term development, checking what impact interventions are really having;
- Support is available from many resources, such as the ESIFs and the European Recovery and Resilience Facility, with an ever-growing focus on combatting climate change and supporting the energy transition;
- Regions have much to learn from each other. Public authorities should take advantage of opportunities to learn from other regions which have already begun the transition, through Interreg Europe projects and the Policy Learning Platform which can offer on-demand expert support through peer reviews and matchmakings.