GermanyRREvs..jpgBRUSSELS, Belgium, May 8, 2017 (ENS) - The European Union must accelerate its "electro-mobility revolution," urge the organizations that aim to lead that revolution in the coming decade.

 

Late last year, these organizations formed the Platform for Electro-Mobility, a European alliance that now includes 25 producers, infrastructure managers, operators, transport users, cities and civil society organizations.

 

The vision of the Platform for Electro-mobility is a sustainable, multimodal transport system in which people and goods are predominantly moved across land in Europe using sustainable electricity. The organization is advocating the acceleration of electrification of all modes of transport.

 

Marie-France Van-der-Valk, who heads the Brussels Office of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, a Platform member, said, "Electrification of transport is underway with more and more examples of its benefits for our societies. It is more important than ever that public authorities fully support the development of a regulatory framework and infrastructure network enabling us to tap its full potential."

 

There are now over two million electric vehicles on the world’s roads, so we are at a tipping point, the group said in a statement in March, but Europe must gear up to really make it happen. E-mobility may be a quiet revolution but it’s a crucial one is the intention that drives the Platform.

 

The diverse group, which includes some of the best-known companies and NGOs in Europe, wants EU Member States to show much more urgency in their plans to harness the range of technologies needed to make clean electricity the dominant power source for transport, both between and within European cities.

 

A joined-up and accessible network of charging stations, including normal, fast and smart charging, is crucial if Europeans are to benefit from the huge strides in e-mobility technologies. But many EU Member States are lagging behind the technology curve.

 

Under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive of 2014, Member States were required to submit their plans for supporting charging infrastructure by the end of 2016, but half of them still have not done so.

 

Nicolas Erb, who chairs the Platform on Electro-mobility, said, "Europe has a huge opportunity to win on so many fronts with e-mobility. For a start, we’ll recover the €1 billion or so a day Europe currently spends on high-polluting oil; we’ll hugely increase access to mobility; we’ll create high-quality jobs and we’ll save countless lives by cutting air pollution. Just look at railways, from trams to high-speed trains, which are already largely electrified and much more energy-efficient than other modes.

 

That’s what the 25 organizations that form our Platform are calling for today.

 

Current Members of the Platform are: ABB, Alstom, Avere, Bellona, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, the CHAdeMO Association, Change Partnership, European Cyclists Federation, ECOS, European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM), EURELECTRIC, Polis, Eurobat, European Copper Institute, The London Taxi Company, Renault-Nissan, Solar Power Europe, the Smart Energy Demand Coalition, Siemens, Tesla, Transport & Environment, Union Internationale des Transports Publics, Unife: The European Rail Industry and Wind Europe.

 

Alfons Westgeest, executive director, Eurobat, said, "Batteries are at the very heart of the shift towards sustainable transport. Various battery technologies contribute to decarbonization and offer improved performance and lifetime. A strong EU battery production base will therefore be key to ensure the competitiveness of the European energy and transport sectors."

 

Alongside the timely implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, the Platform’s members are also pressing Member States for:

 

  • More charging stations: Meet fast growing consumer needs by committing to more publicly accessible charging stations along major roads as well as in urban areas. The Platform is also urging the establishment of infrastructure for electric buses in public transport.

 

  • More flexibility: Encourage innovation by allowing for more flexibility on connector requirements for all car-charging stations and for electric buses. This would help to ensure that European citizens and public authorities have full confidence in the viability of their electric vehicles.

 

  • Simpler permitting and financing: Promote best practice for e-mobility by simplifying permitting procedures and coordinating financial incentives across Europe.

 

  • Greater provision for vehicle charging from buildings: Most electric vehicles recharge during the day while a vehicle is parked at home or at work. So the group wants policymakers to include greater provisions for electric vehicle charging in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. At the same time, permitting and approval procedures for existing buildings should be simplified to allow owners and tenants to deploy recharging points.

 

  • Increased resources for Connecting Europe Facility: Use the mid-term revision of the European budget, the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, to increase the resources for further electrification of all transport modes.

 

  • Genuine Multimodality at the heart of e-mobility strategy: generate huge synergies across the whole economy by ensuring that electrified public and private transport modes, from metros to e-bikes, are fully integrated into a low carbon energy system.

 

Transport & Environment's Clean Vehicles and E-mobility Officer Yoann Le Petit said, "As Europe decarbonized its electricity supply, electro-mobility provides a unique solution to clean up Europe's vehicles. E-mobility also contributes to drastically reducing noise and pollutant emissions, thus addressing crucial public health issues of concern for EU citizens."

 

The Platform on Electro-mobility is the first time such a diverse alliance of industry, operators, infrastructure managers, transport users, cities and civil society organizations has come together around a single vision – the electrification of transport. The group identified benefits that include: emissions reductions, efficiency gains, better consumer services, job creation and better public health.

 

Jonas Helseth, director of the NGO Bellona Europa, said, "Electro-mobility offers a solution to several of our greatest challenges today. In addition to supporting the attainment of our climate objectives through reducing direct emissions from transport and providing storage for renewable electricity, as well as reducing our heavy dependence on imported oil, electro-mobility can aid our fight against Europe’s biggest killer: dangerous levels of air pollution."

 

Railway stations and other public transport hubs are prime locations for public EV charging points, said Bellona in a EurActive article in December. Linking up with existing electric infrastructure would reduce the investment cost of the roll out while improving the connectivity between private and public transport.

 

Platform members agree the next steps will be to integrate rail and road-based electric vehicles with smart grids based on innovative technologies, standards and advanced market rules.

 

PHOTO: Electric cars can charge up while parking at Berlin's Südkreuz train station. (Photo courtesy ChargeMap)

 

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