The added-value of electricity for mobility

The added-value of electric mobility
Platform for electromobility Statement on the AFIR before Vote in TRAN

As the AFIR prepares a solid legislative basis for the decarbonisation of transport in the next years, it is important to support only clean solutions and to refuse the usage of fossil fuels. An increasing penetration of e-mobility also implies a demand-reduction for fossil-fuel, that are mostly imported from instable regions, and thus higher security of supply. The European Union should be very cautious with the list of alternative fuels. Fossil fuels cannot be alternative fuels and must remain transitional with a concrete specification of their end date.

Thus, electric mobility is the most satisfactory option and should be supported in the AFIR by a strong set of targets for charging infrastructure. Here are the 4 main reasons:

Ensure energy efficiency

BEVs are the cleanest and most efficient types of powertrains for individual vehicles (T&E, 2022). Electric cars for road transport are far more energy efficient (85-90% efficient) than ICE cars (17-21%). Regarding natural gas for vehicles (NGV), 30m3 of natural gas, converted to electricity, yields 735km in an EV but 580 km in an NGV vehicle (MIT, 2010). In terms of the rail sector, it accounts for just 2% of total EU energy consumption in transport (Commission, 2021), being the most energy efficient transport mode (T&E, 2022).

T&E, 2022

Improve air quality

Road transport is a major source of air pollution in European cities. In 2019, 307,000 premature deaths were attributed to chronic exposure to fine particulate matter (PM). 40,400 premature deaths were attributed to NO2 exposure (European Energy Agency, 2021). In comparison to other technologies, electric vehicles produce no exhaust emissions. EVs are estimated to emit 20% less PM10 from non-exhaust sources per kilometre than internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) (OECD, 2020) . Modal shift and the use of urban electric rail can improve air quality. In Europe, the rail sector’s share of total Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and PM emissions of transport is respectively 3% and 4,5% (UCI, 2018).

European Energy Agency, 2021

Integrate renewable energy into the grid

Battery-on-wheel solutions, like bidirectional charging, can facilitate the integration of renewable energy to the electricity system. The combination of EVs, their batteries and smart charging functionalities as sources of ancillary services for the electricity grid will clearly bring benefits in terms of RES (Renewable Energy Sources) integration.

Platform for electromobility, 2022

Reach climate neutrality

Electric cars and trains are the only available technology to reach climate neutrality. Full life cycle emissions of electric cars in Europe emit, on average, more than three times less CO2 than equivalent fossil fuel cars (Transport & Environment, 2022). Rail accounts for less than 0,4% of transport related greenhouse gas emissions in the EU (Commission, 2021).

T&E, 2021

"A Contresens" documentary in the European Parliament - Replay


A documentary separating the facts from the fiction about electromobility!

Live-streamed from the European Parliament on 7th September - 18:00

Zero-emission vehicles has been a huge topic on our agendas recently, and by 2035, these kind of vehicles will be one of our main means of transport. But do we really know what is inside electric cars and how do the supply chains really work?

To help policy makers better understand these questions, the documentary: “A CONTRESENS: electric vehicles, the great intox” (in French with English subtitles) will be proposed to MEPs on 7 September 2022 at 18:00 in the European Parliament.

We are pleased to inform you that the event will be live-streamed for external stakeholders so you can view the documentary and subsequent debate between MEPs and the movie makers Jonas Schneiter and Zelda Chauvet.

The documentary reveals the quest of two citizens in search of truth and coherence regarding zero-emission mobility. To separate the facts from fiction, engineer Marc Muller and journalist Jonas Schneiter set out to investigate what is behind electric vehicles. For two years, they went into the field to verify and/or challenge stereotypes. The findings of this investigation are summarised in the documentary film “A Contresens”.

For any question please contact:

Our Position Paper on the revision of the HDV CO2 emission standards

CO2 Standards for HDV
Our position ahead of Commission's proposal

The Platform for Electromobility strongly welcomes the revision of the CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDV). The Platform sees the Regulation as a fundamental tool for electrifying trucks and thus advancing the zero emission transition within the road freight sector. Currently, this sector is responsible for 24% of the EU’s transport emissions, with trucks making up the largest part. The revision of HDV CO2 standards should align the CO2 targets for the sector with those of the EU’s overall 55% GHG reduction target in 2030 and the climate neutrality target of 2050.

In order to transition the road freight sector to zero emissions, more ambitious standards are needed to set the correct pace and a clear trajectory for manufacturers, logistics operators and for the supply chains in the electromobility and automotive industry. Scaling effects in production and technology development in the e-mobility and transport sector all contribute to making electric HDVs more competitive and widespread.

The Platform calls upon the European Commission to adopt the following recommendations as part of the revision of the HDV CO2 standards:

Strengthening the emission reduction targets to fully decarbonize the sector by 2050.

  • Almost all newly registered HDVs (including long-haul) should be 100% zero emission by 2035 at the latest, given the average lifespan of a truck of approximately 15 years.
  • An exemption should be considered for some niche vocational vehicles (such as those operating in remote areas or of abnormal weight) with a 100% Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) target by 2040, due to their more complex operational requirements and usually significantly lower mileage, which postpones the year of cost parity for the total cost-of-ownership for those vocational vehicles.
  • The introduction of an intermediary CO2 target in 2027 of 30% for medium and heavy lorries is necessary to accelerate the transition to electric trucks during the 2020s.
  • Strengthening the ambition of the 2030 CO2 target is crucial in providing momentum to, and further scaling up, the production and sales of ZETs. The 2030 target should be increased to an emission reduction level of at least 65%.

Extend the scope of the regulated HDV categories.

  • Medium-sized lorries should be regulated through CO2 reduction targets, with the interim target of 30% in 2027 and the 2030 target of 65%.
  • Small lorries – as well as urban buses and coaches – should have a mandated ZEV target, as they are not included in either the VECTO monitoring, or the datasets are deficient and hence have no CO2 reduction targets.
  • The Platform recommends including small lorries with a ZEV target of 35% in 2027 and of 70% by 2030. Urban buses can decarbonise faster, and hence 100% of these should be ZEV by 2027. Finally, coaches will transition a bit slower – due to the different vehicle design – with 20% ZEVs by 2027, 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
  • Trailers and semi-trailers will benefit from the introduction of energy efficiency targets, as this will unlock the deployment of zero-emission long-haul tractor-trailer combinations. The targets should be set where technically and practically feasible and as early as 2027. The full energy-efficiency potential of 12% for long-haul and 8% for regional delivery should be reached by 2030.

Other regulatory elements.

  • The zero or low emissions vehicles (ZLEV) mechanism should be transformed into a ZEV-only mechanism with an enhanced benchmark of 15% by 2027. After 2030, the benchmark mechanism should be removed.
  • The possibility of pooling of resources should be explored in the impact assessment, next to the introduction of a straight credit-trading scheme, which might allow for greater flexibility and less regulatory barriers.
  • There should not be an exemption for small-volume manufacturers, as it risks creating a loophole for continuing to produce ICE-powered trucks.
  • There should be no mechanism for renewable and low-carbon fuels to be included under this Regulation. Under such a mechanism, manufacturers could continue to produce ICE-powered trucks and delay the transition to ZEVs whilst not actually being able to control how fuels are ultimately being used (yet still being rewarded for it).

Ambitious charging infrastructure targets, as discussed in the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), are elementary for a successful rollout of ZETs. In addition, private as well as public investments will be needed to ensure higher grid capacity to serve the growing truck-charging demand. The revenues from excess emission premiums should be channelled back into the sector for the rollout of the infrastructure network. Related files, such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) can act an enabler for a smooth deployment of electric trucks. The platform therefore recommends including infrastructure requirements for charging at depots and logistic hubs.

Investing in the reskilling of workers is essential, both for those currently employed in HDV manufacturing and therefore see a conversion of current skills, and new ones who will be increasingly specialised in the new production value-chain. It can reduce social risk and increase workforce resiliency. Other measures such as job-search assistance for jobseekers and income and early retirement support could make the transition more just and fair.

The positive effects of electrifying heavy trucks are far-reaching, and go beyond reducing Europe’s GHG emissions; accelerating the zero-emission truck roll out also allows for drastic improvements to noise and air pollution. The high increase of energy efficiency in the case of battery-electric trucks is particularly beneficial when road transport accounts for 29% of the EU’s final energy consumption. The Platform for Electromobility also wishes to highlight that the transition to electric trucks and buses provides a considerable opportunity for the European e-mobility value chain and the competitiveness of the economy. Ambitious targets would make Europe a leader in zero emission HDVs and thus accelerate the unlocking of the potential of the e-mobility value chain.

Statement on EP ITRE Committee on RED ahead of Plenary vote

Renewable Energy Directive
Our statement ahead of Plenary vote

The Platform for electromobility is pleased to see the progress established by EP ITRE Committee on the recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED). This revision represents an unmissable opportunity to achieve two strongly related public policy objectives: accelerate the transport sector’s transition towards zero emissions and modernize the current legislative framework for renewable energy as a whole, and more specifically for Europe’s transport system.

With the European Parliament scheduled to formalize its position on the file in mid-September, the Platform would like to shed the light on some elements that could improve the EP’s position:

  • Include private charging in fuel neutral credit trading mechanisms

The Commission’s proposed EU-wide requirement for Member States to set up a fuel neutral credit trading mechanisms is highly welcome. However, the mandated credit system, as established by art 25(2), should not, as it would as the text stands, limit the scope of this new system to public charging points only. Any charging points should be allowed for inclusion under national credit mechanisms.  Limiting the scope of the credit mechanism at EU level to public recharging stations will lead to inefficiencies and distortions, and affect the deployment of charging infrastructure. The ITRE Committee has gone in the right direction,  leaving the option for Member States to set up their system in the way they see best fit, including a voluntary inclusion of private charging.

Given that the vast majority of EVs in the EU (>70%) will be charged at home or at the workplace, the Platform believes a stronger wording is needed, namely expressly including private recharging stations in the mechanism.

  • Ensure appropriate energy efficiency ratios regardless of accounting methodology 

The current RED allows countries to choose between setting transport targets based on energy volumes/content or GHG emission reductions. Contrarily, both the Commission’s proposal and the ITRE Committee Report call Member States to set targets based on GHG reductions only, in clear countertrend compared with the 24 out of 27 Member States currently using an energy-based system. With this new proposed accounting methodology comes the deletion of the existing “multiplier system” or ‘Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)’. The multiplier or EER accounts for the superior energy efficiency of renewable electricity, and is currently set at 4 for electricity. The mandate for the new transport targets does contain an “implicit” EER, i.e. a different fossil fuel baseline.

Nonetheless, as Member States are expected to push for maintaining the flexibility to choose between GHG- or energy-based targets, it is crucial to maintain an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of at least 4  regardless of the accounting methodology used (in case  a member states chose to keep an energy-based system or the current proposed implicit multiplier in case of GHG emission reductions system), reflecting the fact that EVs are between 4-5 times more efficient than internal combustion engine cars (“well to wheel” efficiency) powered by any renewable fuels.

Hence, the Platform believes that, while it would be welcomed to maintain flexibility for countries to choose their accounting system, appropriate EERs should be kept ensuring that direct electrification is able to compete on a level playing field.

[Video] Batteries are well placed to help Europe navigate the ‎current energy crisis

Batteries Regulation
Europe's main asset toward energy security

Batteries are necessary to fast forward electromobility, they store green energy, and can ensure critical infrastructure runs smoothly. In other words, batteries are critical to achieving the EU Green Deal objectives, and for the transition to renewables and electrification.

But the battery industry needs a fit for purpose policy framework to do so. In December 2020 the European Commission, proposed the new Batteries Regulation which is now being negotiated in trilogue.

It is key that the new Regulation enables a sustainable and competitive batteries value chain on our continent. The Regulation needs to introduce regulatory visibility for all players along the value chain on key aspects, including:

First, well-thought through timelines that would balance the need for a quick implementation of the ‎Regulation, whilst ensuring robust methodologies are developed.‎

Second, future potential restrictions of substances must take into consideration the impact onachieving strategic ‎autonomy for the EU battery sector, the performance of EV batteries, and the closed loop of the ‎substances needed for batteries.

And finally, correct definitions: of batteries as final products, and of the battery producer for Extended Producer Responsibility coherence. This will help establish a level playing field within and outside of the European Union.

We salute the Czech Presidency’s emphasis on promoting the EU energy security amid these uncertain times, and want to stress that batteries are naturally well placed to help Europe navigate the current energy crisis. We call for the Presidency to focus its attention on the Batteries Regulation

[Video] The importance of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive with Luka De Bruyckere (ECOS)

The importance of private charging

If Europe is to succeed in its transition towards zero-emission mobility, the correct charging infrastructure needs to be put in place

Here, the deployment of private charging is of the utmost importance: 90% of all charging takes place at home or in the workplace. About 10% of charging will be done at public charging stations, either at fast charging stations on the highway for long distance trips or at slower charging stations for drivers who cannot charge at home. We at the Platform for electromobility want to make sure as many people as possible can charge at home.

The European Commission has recently proposed requirements to ease the installation of charging stations in building like condominiums or offices, as well as mandatory installation of charging stations at new and renovated buildings. These are very positive steps forward.

But we also need to make sure charging stations are easily installed in existing buildings as well because 4 out of 5 buildings will still be in use by 2050, and a large proportion will not be renovated any time soon it’s clear that we need to include existing buildings in the legislation now.

Also, the legislation should require the deployment “smart” technologies for vehicles. These can postpone charging or return electricity to the grid or the building. This presents opportunities for EV drivers: reduced energy prices, improved charging experience and increased renewable energy use. It is key that all newly installed chargers in buildings are capable of smart charging.

Finally, the right to plug should truly facilitate the installation of a charging station. This right does not really exist if construction costs are too high. This is why we also need to reinforce the measures to ensure pre-cabling: installing the cables needed to connect a charging station later on.

Let’s not let 40% of EV batteries go missing!

End-of-Life Vehicle Directive

On how the End-of-Life of Vehicles Directive revision can make the uptake of EVs faster and more sustainable.

For Europe to become carbon neutral by 2050, road transport needs to be entirely decarbonised by this date. Considering the average retirement age of petrol and diesel vehicles in Europe (around 15 years), the Platform for Electromobility believes that an EU-wide phase-out date for sales of new pure internal combustion engine passenger cars and vans no later than 2035 is necessary to achieve this objective with a clear emissions reductions trajectory.

Last year, the sales of new BEV accounted for 5.3% of the total (1). In other words, European market will need to grow from 530.000 battery cars today to around 16 million in less than 15 years.

Considering that to produce the corresponding amount of battery cells will require huge quantity of critical raw materials. There are several critical raw materials for which these market requirements mean a significant challenge. For example, major manufacturers (2) have already announced they will not use Ni in their entry level models. On average, it takes 10 years from taking the internal decision to have a new mine in operation. Accelerating the recycling capacities is therefore key for the deployment of accessible and sustainable electric vehicles (LDVs and HDVs alike).

Yet, in 2014, 4.66 million end-of-life vehicles (ELV), representing 39% of the total vehicles being decommissioned, were at ‘unknown whereabouts’ (3). From 2007 at least, the ‘unknown whereabouts’ share has remained at a constant level4. The two main elements that explain most of the issue with ELVs at ‘unknown whereabouts’ are vehicle dismantling at illegal sites, and exporting of ELVs outside of Europe as used cars.

Consequently, it’s of key relevance for the deployment of electromobility and to reach 2030 and 2050 EU climate goals not to spoil 39% of used batteries from future EU battery ELVs. Reinserting those ELV into the recycling system will reduce the stress of primary production as well as cost impact and a potential slowdown of the BEV uptake by lack of affordable materials.

While it is true that vehicle registration procedures are the national competence of the Member States, each EU legal act has to comply with two fundamental principles laid down in the Treaty on European Union, proportionality and subsidiarity. The content and scope of EU action may not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaties. Also, given that transport is a shared competence, the EU may act only if — and in so far as — the objective of a proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the EU countries, but could be better achieved at EU level.

As Member States have not been able to reduce since 2007 the number of ELVs at unknown whereabouts, the Platform for electromobility proposes to introduce the following dispositions in the revised ELVD:

  • Registering any road transport vehicle – including heavy-duty – when the owner is a resident (or registered company) in that Member State will have a large and cost effective impact on reducing the amount ‘unknown whereabouts’. By doing so, vehicle owners will face at least two payment obligations (i.e. insurance and Periodical Technical Inspection – PTI). Owners will therefore be incentivised financially to send the vehicle to an authorised treatment facility (ATF) when it reaches its end of life and therefore avoid those costs.
  • Provide necessary safeguards to avoid as much as possible temporary deregistration that currently causes loopholes and increase the amount of ‘unknown whereabouts’
  • In case of sale in the same Member State, or change of ownership (typically to its insurance company), the new owner will have to be updated in the vehicle registration system.
  • It will only be possible to deregister a vehicle under one of the following circumstances:
    • Destruction, after presenting a certification of destruction (CoD) issued by an ATF.
    • Export within the EU, after presenting the certificate of having been registered in the second Member State.
    • Export outside the EU, after presenting the customs declaration for export.
    • Theft, after presenting the police report. If the vehicle was recovered, the vehicle will beregistered again to its legitimate owner.
  • Additionally, it should be made compulsory to have a valid roadworthiness certificate for a vehicle to be exported outside EU as used car.

To achieve the ambitious but necessary objective of decarbonizing road transport by 2050, transport must be seen holistically and therefore all upcoming legislations should, like the End-of-Life of Vehicles Directive revision, should consider needs that a fast and sustainable uptake of electromobility requires.

  • 1
  • 2 VW Power Day and Tesla Battery Day
  • 3 In the Assessment of the implementation of Directive 2000/53/EU on end-of-life vehicles, is defined the term “ vehicles of unknown whereabouts”: vehicles that are deregistered but without a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) issued or available to the authorities and also with no information available indicating that the vehicle has been treated in an Authorized Treatment Facility (ATF) or has been exported.
  • 4 Report Ex-Post.pdf

[Video] The need for flexibility services for deployment of electromobility - Brieuc Giard (SmartEN)

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EV Charging:
How to smart in the grid smartly?

Smart charging is a technology that enables communication between the electric vehicle and the electric grid when the car is plugged. Smart chargers can adjust the power input into the car very quickly depending on external signals like, prices, the stress on the grid or renewable energy production nearby. Those adjustments of power provide benefits to the EV driver and to the grid.

By turning EVs into a flexible asset, smart charging would help to integrate road transport into the energy system. This means we can optimize the use of the grid and reduce the investment needed . Smart charging will also help manage the availability of renewable energy, inherently variable. And therefore increase renewable penetration.

Smart charging will empower consumers in the energy transition by transforming their own vehicle into an flexible energy asset, a battery on wheels, and allow them to charge when electricity price is low.

Bidirectional charging is a technology that allow EVs to not only modulate the flow of energy, but send it back to a connected asset or to the grid. It would multiply the benefits for users and the grid.

[Video] The win-win relationship between EVs and renewable energies with Ivan Komusanac (WindEurope)

Synergies for the climate

We need to electrify our transport sector to cut our reliance on fossil fuels. This is needed to achieve our climate goals and energy security. And the more electric vehicles we have on our roads, the more wind turbines we will need to power them.

It’s possible to use electric vehicles without adding pressure on the electricity grid. Smart and bidirectional charging allow us to do that. And it can also help us integrate additional renewable energy capacity.

Everyone wants to pay less for charging their electric vehicles and that is achievable by installing more renewable power capacity. Legislation must help as much as possible. But how to make it happen?

European countries should ensure that permitting of renewable energy sources is done much simpler and faster. And they should allow electric vehicles to realise their full potential by allowing them to provide grid services.

Finally, the joint development of electric vehicles and renewable energy power plants represents great job opportunities for many Europeans. We must ensure that they have the right skills they need to accompany the transition. Find more details on our recommendations on the platform’s website.

[Video] The importance of decarbonising corporate fleets first with Thomas Neumann (AVERE)

Corporate fleet
We must look at the 99%

Corporate fleets are both a challenger and a great enabler for the decarbonation of transport. Europe should act and here is why:

Company cars are often underestimated because they represent 20% of the car park but, they are usually driven twice more than individual cars, they emit 50% of total road transport CO2 emissions and represent 62% of new car registrations!  This is therefore a key lever to decarbonize transport. Company cars quickly become private cars via the second-hand market. This is called the “Trickle-down effect”

At the Platform for electromobility, we therefore believe we should first act to decarbonize corporate fleets by mandating their decarbonization. There would be a clear benefit: ensuring a large second-hand market after they are no longer used by companies and therefore making clean transportation more accessible to all. It is urgent to act at EU level to take the cost of the transition off people’s shoulder.

The is at the moment only one legislation at EU level to push large fleet to drive cleaner: the clean vehicle directive. Since 2021, it pushes member states’ public service to change their fleet to new, non-polluting vehicles. On paper it is a great idea but it only cover 1% of all fleets. We need to decarbonize the 99% left