E-Mobility Works is helping cities overcome their electric vehicle concerns
21/07/2015

E-Mobility Works is helping cities overcome their electric vehicle concerns

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Fear, that most basic of human emotions, is playing a significant role in holding back the electric car revolution. Consumers worry that a lack of charging infrastructure will make refuelling difficult, leading to only short journeys being possible, while private sector investors are apprehensive that uptake of electric cars will be slow, making it an unsound venture.

The EU-funded E-Mobility Works project is engaging municipalities to overcome these issues through policy measures.

Municipalities starting on the road to electric mobility can allay consumer fears and inspire confidence in investors by developing and committing to an E-mobility Action Plan. By approving a dedicated planning document for e-mobility roll-out (one that feeds into the municipalities’ energy, transport and procurement targets), local governments can build confidence within the private sector. Gaining feedback from local businesses in the field, such as car-sharing organisations, rental car companies, car dealerships and so on, can ensure that the plan addresses the concerns of business owners.

In addition to building market confidence, municipalities can also support electric car uptake through offering consumers incentives, such as giving e-vehicles access to otherwise restricted areas, providing free parking for e-vehicles, lowering taxation on e-vehicles, and so on.

For cities that have already achieved moderate success in stimulating e-vehicle usage, the e-mobility plan can be used to shape future investment. Often cities purchase a limited number of slow-charging stations, just to have a physical emblem of their commitment to electric mobility. Within a period of ten years, however, many stations will become obsolete as technology progresses. To ensure that e-mobility grows, cities must be willing to allocate budget for improvements. Ultimately it is a balancing act, one that aims to extract the maximum uptake and confidence level from the available resources.

Once e-mobility is popular within a city, the private sector will usually begin to extend the charging network, as it makes sense from a business perspective. Shopping centres, for example, are increasingly providing fast-charge outlets within parking lots, allowing shoppers to charge their cars while they shop. The ultimate goal of the municipality should be to create an e-mobility environment that is largely self-sustaining. Through engaging with the E-Mobility Works project, this can be achieved more effectively.