The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Eurelectric and Transport & Environment (T&E) are calling on the European institutions to facilitate a rapid roll-out of smart charging infrastructure for electrically-chargeable vehicles. This is a unique collaboration as it marks the first time that the EU auto industry, electricity sector and the green group have joined forces to push for a common goal.
E-mobility has a crucial role to play in decarbonising road transport and meeting Europe’s climate objective. As Brussels gears up for a new political term, the three associations are therefore urging policy makers to guarantee the ‘right to plug’ to all those who use an electric vehicle, so that everyone across Europe can get access to charging which should be as simple as refuelling today.
This will require a massive deployment of strategically located ‘smart charging’ infrastructure right across the EU. Smart infrastructure will enable drivers to charge without severely affecting, or overloading, Europe’s electricity grids. It provides clear benefits to customers, the power system, the automobile industry and society at large, the associations believe.
ACEA, Eurelectric and T&E signed this joint call to action recently at ACEA’s ‘Leading the mobility transformation’ summit in Brussels. On this occasion, the auto and electricity industries confirmed their commitment to making more focused investments in both vehicle technology and smart charging solutions.
Whether it is urban or motorway public charging, all barriers to infrastructure deployment and e-mobility growth must be removed. In order to make charging at home, work and on motorways easy and accessible for all drivers, policy makers should reform and strengthen key legislation, such as the soon to be revised EU alternative fuels infrastructure law (AFID) and the EU buildings directive (EPBD). Existing EU funding instruments must also be better leveraged to speed up the roll-out of infrastructure, and other financial instruments should be targeted to unlock new solutions to improve coverage across all member states.
“The EU auto industry wants to work with all stakeholders to make zero-emission mobility a reality,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “To convince more customers to make the switch to electric vehicles, we have to remove the stress associated with recharging. This means that everyone must have the option to recharge their vehicle easily, no matter where they live or where they want to travel to.”
“The race to the future is on. We must remove all barriers and make the shift to electric mobility as easy and convenient as possible. Every consumer should have a ‘right-to-plug’ – and the roll-out of public charging points must accelerate. By 2025, we need 1.2 million public charging points in Europe,” said Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric.
Julia Poliscanova, Clean Vehicles Director at T&E said: “A rapid shift to electric cars powered by clean electricity is essential if we want to halt dangerous global warming. Now that carmakers are preparing a wave of new and affordable electric models, we need to ensure the fast and easy deployment of charging points at home, at work and on the road so that charging an electric car becomes a completely hassle free experience for citizens across the EU.”