PIRVEC (Strategic Plan for the deployment of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in Catalonia) aims to remove hurdles for EV development in the region
The lack of charging infrastructure is a major argument in the purchase decision of EVs and therefore a limit to their large scale use.
In Catalonia charging infrastructure so far is centred around the metropolitan area of Barcelona, which makes it complicated to freely move around Catalonia by electric vehicle (cover more than 200km of distance).
To remedy this shortcoming, the government of Catalonia has launched the PIRVEC Plan for the deployment of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in Catalonia. The strategic plan forms part of the more wide ranged “Action Plan 2017-2025: Clean energy for all Catalans”.
The Plan aims to remove technological, legal, administrative and economic obstacles to Catalonia’s electrical mobility development. In the frame of the plan the government will allocate €5.8M to set up:
- 100 quick charging points accessible from the public road network (50 kW)
- 400 new stations for semi-fast charging in urban networks and leisure centres (22kW)
- 25,000 new charging points (4,000 at present) with subsidies covering up to 50% of installation costs in cases where there are difficulties in setting them up, such as in private community car parks
- A unified identification and payment system, developed for users and accessible through smartphones for easier access to the EV charging network
- Promote regulatory changes to achieve the technical and economic feasibility of electrical mobility
- Financial resources: The plan counts with a budget of 5.8 million EUR
- Staff: The ICAEN, Catalan Energy Institute, is in charge of the plan's development and implementation. 3 people were actively involved in its development during 4 years, 2 people are currently working on its implementation
Evidence of success
During its first year, PIRVEC has allowed the fast public charging network for EVs to be extended from 19 locations with 39 charging points to 42 sites with 126 plugs, plus 8 extra private locations. The interest shown by the city councils will ensure the objective of covering the fast charging every 50 km by the end of 2018, guaranteeing the connection between the metropolitan areas of Barcelona, Girona, Tarragona and Lleida and access Central Catalonia, Terres de l'Ebre and Pyrenees.
So far infrastructure must be developed by the city council, no direct business models exist nor does the private sector participate.
Potential for learning or transfer
The policy follows very clear and tangible goals wherefore its transferability to other EU regions is facilitated. It does however strongly depend on the intention of governments to set free considerable financial means for the direct public provision of charging infrastructure or in the form of public subsidies for their deployment.
The infrastructure serves primarily electric vehicle users. However, recipients of financial subsidies for installation costs are likewise beneficiaries of the policy. This considerable public financial injection helps to overcome lacks in infrastructure as a critical point for an electric vehicle break through and therefore can be seen as an exemplary policy of state subsidies for a clear advance in the deployment of charging infrastructure.
The example of PIRVEC plan might encourage regions or cities in the EU to strive for similar objectives and to provide public financial support for charging infrastructure.
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