Road vehicles are responsible for more than 70% of transport emissions in Europe, making the decarbonisation of cars, vans and trucks essential to achieving low carbon mobility, as well as tackling the major air quality crises in urban areas. 

Electric mobility (e-mobility) has emerged as one of the most promising technological solutions to replace fossil fuels in road transport. In contrast to biofuels for example, electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions and therefore do not contribute directly to air pollution. Considering also their quiet operation, a widespread transition to electric vehicles could drastically reduce noise and air pollution, possibly transforming urban areas.

Despite the potential, actual deployment of e-mobility is so far rather limited though - electric vehicles comprised only 1.5 % of all new car registrations in the EU28 in 2017, and fully electric buses just 9%.

Within the policy brief on E-mobility, Policy Learning Platform thematic experts identified four main barriers:

  • Range of motion – technical limitations in terms of electric vehicles’ battery size and range.
  • Cost – electric vehicles are still generally more expensive than conventional vehicles. 
  • Perception – mixed public perception and limited understanding of e-mobility. 
  • Charging infrastructure – large discrepancies exist across Europe in terms of typology and density of charging points.

The EV Energy project aims to analyse, initiate and implement policies favouring sustainable energy and electric mobility systems in urban areas. As the point where electric vehicles interact with the grid, charging infrastructure is one of the policy areas being studied in the project. In 2018, e-mobility and energy experts in Stockholm gathered for an EV Energy Regional Stakeholder Event, to share knowledge and experience about charging infrastructure initiatives and smart grid solutions across Europe. Based on their discussions, they have published seven conclusions on charging infrastructure policy-making:

  • Increasing the number of public charging stations is a must. As a rule of thumb regions should offer one public charging point per ten registered electric vehicles.
  • User-friendly charging infrastructure. Standardised and more user-friendly rules are required for parking and payment at public charging stations.
  • Develop smart charging systems such as Vehicle2Grid (V2G). This can balance irregular local production of electricity and also reduce grid imbalances in general.
  • Co-ordination of efforts. More test and demonstration projects are required for smart charging systems.
  • Ensuring power grid capacity. Early involvement of electricity companies in planning and construction of charging infrastructure is crucial.
  • Customise regional and city planning. E-mobility has to be better integrated into urban planning.
  • Behaviour change is important for the transition towards e-mobility. Changes may lead to unwanted consequences depending on individual behaviours. 

Learn more about EV Energy on the project website.

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