Aspects of Electric Vehicles Charging | Perspectives from the FSR Policy Workshop
In recent years, the EU has strengthen its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, aiming to a 40% GHG decrease by 2030 (with respect to 1990 levels) and a 90-95% cut by 2050.
Despite past technological improvements, the transport sector is still responsible for around one-quarter of Europe’s GHG emissions. Furthermore, the EU Road transport is accountable for more than 70% of all GHG emissions from transport – and also contributes to the increased concentration of air pollutants (such as NOX and PM) in several European cities. In 2011, the European Commission had already outlined a roadmap to reduced GHG emissions in the transport sector (as part of the Transport White Paper) and, in 2016, adopted a new low-emission mobility strategy, to ensure Europe stays competitive and able to respond to the changing mobility needs.
Electric cars, and their batteries, may also represent a valuable source of flexibility to support the growing decarbonisation of Europe’s electricity sector. Although electric vehicle ownership is expanding (as is the need for widely distributed and publicly accessible charging stations), current practices can potentially create barriers and delay electric vehicle penetration. Fast plug-in charging requires specialised infrastructure and electric vehicles manufacturers have not yet converged onto a standard charging technology. The consequent lack of a common standard may result in (inefficient) parallel charging networks and in barriers to new entrants, unless they are able to use the network of the incumbent manufacturer(s).
Furthermore, competition concerns related to the supply of electricity for charging electric vehicles might arise. It is not yet clear whether electric vehicle charging stations should be considered as part of the (distribution) grid to which they are connected (and therefore subject to third-party access requirements), or if they should be considered as consumer sites.
The workshop, jointly organised by the Energy and Transport Areas of the FSR, will therefore attempt to define the extent to which charging technology would need to be standardised in order to promote electric vehicle penetration as well as which regulatory access regime and optimal business model should be applied to charging stations.
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