The latest phase of a new EU-funded project aiming to get electric vehicles onto the roads has just been launched. Although electric vehicles have been around for some time, there is still a long way to go before they are fully integrated into society, and that’s where GREEN EMOTION comes in!
The initiative, funded in part from a EUR 24-million boost from the European Commission, hopes to promote electric mobility throughout Europe. As part of this pan-European research effort, a team of Spanish scientists will analyse and guide the activities of network operators, electricity suppliers, car manufacturers and telecommunications companies throughout the whole process.
The team, from Tecnalia Research & Innovation, plan to make a detailed comparison of the different business models currently in use and study their probable future evolution: they can then advise European companies about the advantages and disadvantages of each one, as well as help identify the most appropriate one for individual companies, depending on their profiles.
For instance, they will be able to advise electricity supply companies (a crucial part of the electricity supply chain) on what types of tariffs can be applied, or car manufacturers on the devices needed in vehicles, without increasing costs.
The team’s research findings will also help identify new services that electric vehicles can offer to the companies, and will evaluate the impact that mass deployment of these vehicles could have on the electricity supply network and how best to react in this situation.
The GREEN EMOTION initiative as a whole brings together 42 partners from industrial companies and automobile manufacturers, as well as technology and research institutions and universities.
The hope is that all these projects will lead to the overall progressive entry of the electric car, with more than 10,000 recharging points throughout Europe. Almost 1,000 are to be installed in Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga in Spain, approximately 3,600 in Berlin, Germany, 400 in Rome and Pisa in Italy, and about 100 in Strasbourg, France.
Denmark and Sweden hope to see between 2,500 and 3,500 electric cars hit the road and up to 4,500 charging points in the cities of Copenhagen and Bornholm in Denmark, and Malmö in Sweden.
In Ireland, some 2,000 electric vehicles and about 3,500 charging points are to be installed; Director of Codema and Cork City Council, Gerry Wardell, hopes this will go some way to reducing Dublin city’s current levels of emissions – 5 million tonnes of CO2 each year. ‘By adopting more sustainable transport methods such as electric vehicles we could save up to 140 kilotonnes of CO2 each year and achieve annual net cost savings of up to EUR 27 million. Therefore we must move towards cleaner, green transport options in order to achieve our vision of an energy-smart city.’
Launching the four-year project in January, Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for Transport commented: ‘Electromobility will make an important contribution toward reducing carbon dioxide emissions. GREEN EMOTION is intended to ensure the fast-track success of electric vehicles.’
The partners in the initiative are to accumulate experience with electromobility in existing and new test regions within Europe and refine the technology. A key issue is the development of European processes, standards and IT solutions to allow electric vehicle users to easily access the charging infrastructure and related services throughout the European Union. Standardisation is also a key factor for a fast and cost-efficient European rollout of electromobility.
‘The local concepts applied to date, in which experience was accumulated in specific demonstration regions, will now be bundled in cross-European trials. The aim is to pave the way for electromobility throughout Europe. This will require standards for infrastructure, networking and IT,’ said Heike Barlag from Siemens, one of the industry partners in the GREEN EMOTION consortium. ‘By bundling individual activities in a major partner initiative, we’re gaining momentum and transparency, and ensuring the coordinated development of electromobility.’