Lack Of Coordination Endangering E-Mobility, EURELECTRIC Paper Finds

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The lack of stakeholder agreement on a single type of connector for electric cars is slowing down the development of e-mobility in Europe, EURELECTRIC has warned today. "In the absence of a European agreement, we have found that European countries are either installing infrastructure that is incompatible with other solutions or they are delaying investments until a European agreement has been reached. We are very concerned that this situation is endangering the successful spread of electric vehicles by denying customers a convenient recharging solution and creating uncertainty among potential investors," said Secretary General Hans ten Berge, commenting on a new EURELECTRIC position paper.The paper calls on European policymakers to act quickly to create a stable investment climate and ensure a coordinated infrastructure roll-out across Europe.

Basic charging infrastructure for electric cars already exists: although domestic and industrial sockets were not originally designed to charge electric cars, their wide availability means that they can be used as a 'bridging solution' to support the initial spread of e-mobility. In the long run however, more sophisticated infrastructure is needed to support 'smart charging', a method by which grid operators can use electric cars to better manage the power grids (see Background).

EURELECTRIC therefore recommends that from 2017 onwards, in line with the development of the European car industry, all newly installed connectors should support this type of 'Mode 3' charging. However, at the moment two different types of connectors for Mode 3 charging are being rolled out in parallel, with stakeholders - car manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and governments - still trying to agree on a single one.

In the interest of a mass-market introduction of electric cars in Europe and the resulting shift towards low-carbon mobility, we strongly urge stakeholders to avoid a prolonged debate and to find a single, European-wide solution as quickly as possible. The same applies to on-going discussions on a connector for high-power DC (direct current) charging. To this end we encourage the EU-funded Green eMotion demonstration project, in which EURELECTRIC is participating, to bring further insights into technical performance and customer expectations and to clearly recommend a type of e-mobility infrastructure fit for Europe.


Background - Smart charging:

As the number of electric cars increases, they will put increasing pressure on the power grid. For instance, many drivers might plug in their cars once they arrive home in the evening, causing a large surge in electricity demand. Smart charging will become indispensable to overcome this problem: by letting technology steer when and how plugged-in cars are charged ('load management'), grid operators can make optimal use of the distribution grid and the electrical energy available. In this way, smart charging minimises additional network investments while maximising the number of vehicles charged with renewable electricity. It also allows customers to recharge their cars at times of low electricity prices, as recharging can be scheduled to take place when electricity demand is low.