This project is co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and aimed at fully developing E-mobility potentials in European municipalities and businesses by developing e-mobility action plans for the municipalities and consulting local businesses regarding the integration of e-mobility in their corporate strategies.
In this domain, the municipalityâ€™s role is to set regulations and standards, encourage interoperability and to provide incentives. The private sectorâ€™s role is to bring the new technology to the market and enforce mass production and thereby reduce costs. This project therefore encouraged municipalities to create new partnerships with the private sector, such as energy companies and vehicle manufacturers.
Below you will find examples of Municipal Action Plans set up in Germany, Slovenia and Italy.
Learn more about this project on their official website.
The pilot project initiated by the City of Iserlohn (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), the utility company Stadtwerke Iserlohn and the Berlin start-up company Ubitricity will enable drivers to charge their vehicles and get billed wherever they go. The pilot project was initiated as part of the EU project "E-Mobility Works".
The city of Iserlohn is a model municipality for electromobility: soon, drivers will be able to refuel their owned or leased electric vehicles with local electricity at 17 different locations within the cityâ€™s boundaries, without having to worry about complicated billing. The firm â€œUbitricityâ€ came up with a simple charging concept. Car owners take their intelligent charging cable, or "smart cable", which is attached to their current utility bill, to any charging point. The system automatically handles the authorisation and approval as well as the disclosure of the billing information.
"I am thrilled that we are breaking new ground by expanding infrastructure for electric cars and thus taking on the role as pioneers for affordable electromobility in Germanyâ€, says Iserlohnâ€™s Mayor Dr. Peter Paul Ahrens. â€œIn connection with the inauguration of the first innovative charging point I express my wish for alternative mobility to prevail over conventional fossil fuel vehicles to promote environmental and climate protection. Today we have begun this process and will soon allow electric vehicles to park for free in our cityâ€.
The city utilities in Iserlohn have focused on environmental protection and sustainability for years. "That is why we very much welcome that the Iserlohn city council ratified the action plan on electric mobility during its session on September 22â€ says Mr. Timmreck, managing director of Stadtwerke Iserlohn. One important aspect of the action plan is developing the charging infrastructure, which in turn makes electromobility more attractive. With the charging points and the intelligent charging cable they are taking further steps in the strategy aimed at reducing traffic noise and pollution in Iserlohn.
In Slovenia, three municipalities made a step forward regarding E-mobility by preparing and starting the implementation of action plans: Maribor, Radlje ob Dravi and Slovenska Bistrica.
These local authorities see indeed E-mobility as a development goal. Radlje ob Dravi linked E-mobility to its social development plans and uses E-vehicles to improve mobility of old people. Maribor's first steps are towards electric public buses and more charging stations around the city. Slovenska Bistrica has studied possibilities of E-vehicles in municipal business fleets to make them more energy and cost efficient.
The multi-stakeholder groups involved in the decision making processes of the municipalities enabled the development of E-mobility action plans which are in line with the technical development as well as with the infrastructure and the needs of behavioral change. This approach gave confidence to decision makers and catalysed a crucial learning process. However all three municipalities agree that many communication activities are still needed in order to grasp the whole range of environmental, economic and social benefits of E-mobility. Several conferences and workshops were organised in Maribor to raise awareness but more specific education for the public administration is needed in order to set the green procurement rules and clarify how E-vehicles operate (see Recording of Covenant of Mayors Webinar "Developing electric vehicles: the crucial role of local entities" , soon to be published).
While municipalities in Slovenia face financial challenges, they maintain a firm commitment to work actively towards sustainable transport and clean air. Ljubljana has become European Green Capital in 2016 thanks to their ambitious sustainable mobility policy. National subsidies were also put in place in order to develop the purchase of electric vehicles. In 2012, 4.000 EUR could be offered for a new electric car, but only 62 persons used this scheme. In 2014, 98 persons had access to the subsidies. In 2016 this kind of financing can be up to 7.000 EUR for a new E-car.
The rising number of electric charging stations raises the question of interoperability. In 2012, 150 E-vehicles were registered and 34 charging stations were operational. By 2015, the number of E-vehicles rose to 245, and 186 charging stations as well as 26 fast charging ones along the highways are now available to drivers. As usual the use of these stations requires a registration by RFID cards. However for the time being and outside the network of 26 fast charging stations, there is no harmonized registration system and these cards are not interchangeable.
News regarding E-mobility progress in Slovenian municipalities (in Slovenian)
For a more comprehensive presentation of Maribor's progress on E-mobility, see the recording of the Covenant of Mayors Webinar "Developing electric vehicles: the crucial role of local entities" : Covenant of Mayors - Webinar Recordings (upcoming)
During the course of the "E-Mobility Works" project, action plans in Italy were developed in three small-medium size municipalities (Budrio, Correggio and Conegliano) located in two Italian regions (Emilia Romagna and Veneto). These plans focused on including sustainable mobility policies in the sustainable energy action plans, on sustainable tourism and on the use of sustainable fleets for local shops adding value to the local economy. Most of the actions were zero-budgeted and had to focus specifically on adapting local regulations to E-Mobility take-off through several measures:
electric vehicle (EV) free access and parking in restricted traffic areas;
release parking concessions (under the condition of equipping the area with charging points);
adaptation of vehicle procurement rules to EV inclusion.
However the main objective was to ignite the creation of a network of small charging stations, to be extended in medium-long term.
Because of the slow development at the local level of E-vehicles and of the charging station market, national and regional policies try to support the up-scale of such initiatives. Italy has indeed launched an E-vehicle subsidy programme of EUR 95 M for 2014 and 2015, and a national programme aiming at creating 1.000 charging stations in cities. The Veneto region has recently issued a subsidy program, offering a 30% price cut to municipalities willing to buy new e-vehicles. In the Emilia Romagna region, EUR 2.4 M from the ERDF (from the 2007-2013 regional operational programme) were used to purchase 103 electric vehicles.
In this context, the E-Mobility Works project has been very beneficial for the municipalities involved as it has mobilized within a common framework a number of local E-bikes and manufacturers of charging stations, retrofitting experts and E-mobility friendly associations. Connecting all these stakeholders will support the development of their businesses in the interest of their municipalities.
In this same perspective, interoperability was an issue which was naturally taken into account by Italian producers of charging stations. The market of charging stations seems to have naturally embraced the prospect of integrating the national and European E-mobility network. For Italian experts, interoperability is no longer a technical issue but a criterion ensuring economical sustainability.
After the end of the E-Mobility Works project, the Italian municipalities will focus on creating the necessary conditions for the installation of a small charging station network. E-Mobility will also become a priority by promoting it within municipalitiesâ€™ procedures, regulations and everyday operations.
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