[Video] Charles Esser highlights importance of coordination and cooperation between grid stakeholders.

Energy & Industry

Rise of electric vehicles, fall of the power grid?

The smooth integration of electric mobility into the power grid is the next frontier on the path toward clean mobility. The Platform for Electromobility issued a 15-solutions strong recommendations paper to ensure a smooth integration. Charles Esser highlighes here some key points and invites you to join the debate with key transport manufacturers.

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Electric Vehicles are “battery-on-wheels”. What does that mean? With the right policy framework, smart charging can smoothen the impact of EVs on the grid.

But what’s more, the millions on new electrified vehicles in Europe can actually be used as assets to support the grid when it is under stress with Vehicle-to-Grid technologies.

We recently published with other members of the Platform, a roadmap of 15 solutions for a smooth integration of e-mobility into the grid. I won’t cover them all here but would like to underline one point:

One of the main challenges in planning the electrical grid in a way that can absorb charging of EVs lies in the uncertainty about how different types of EVs will recharge in different places.

The key to success here is early communication, coordination and collaboration between stakeholders: this includes the DSOs that we represent, but also local authorities, charge point operators, energy companies, fleet managers and so on.

While the Platform for Electromobility helps us get closer to each other, we call on European authorities to initiate, moderate and formalize this collaboration.

In a few weeks at the European Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels, I will be discussing all this from the point of view of European industries at our EUSEW session on 11 June in the late afternoon.

We gathered major European clean transport manufacturers across different modes to understand how upcoming European energy policies can help them be at the same time more competitive, more sustainable with a minimum, or maybe even positive, impact on the power grid.

Make sure to join us! You’ll find the registration link under this video. See you there!

[Video] Charging Infrastructures: A perspective on 2024 by Jayson Dong

[Video] Peter Badik (GreenWay) on Electricity Market Design

Electricity Market Design
Peter Badik, CEO of GreenWay, on the importance of the reform of the Electricity Market Design.

The Platform for electromobility, uniting industries, civil society organisations and cities from the transport, energy and clean tech sector, welcomes the Electricity Market Reform (EMD) proposal as an important opportunity to support the build-out of grid-friendly e-mobility across Europe. We appreciate the proposals improve the existing electricity market framework in a way that facilitates cost-effective deployment of individual or aggregated smart and bidirectional electric vehicles (EVs) charging. As the EV market is growing rapidly, smart and bidirectional charging will quickly become one of the most important sources of demand-side flexibility. In the collective European effort to decrease fossil gas imports, EV charging flexibility will be instrumental to reduce consumer costs, greenhouse gas emissions and better integrate solar and wind in the grid.  Importantly, by offering additional revenues or cost saving opportunities to EV owners, the reform accelerates EV take-up and the clean transport transition.

The Platform therefore urges co-legislators to keep the level of ambition and a swift adoption. The European Commission’s EMD reform proposal supports the uptake of e-mobility in the following ways:

The reform recognises EVs as flexibility resource

Member States will have to make a detailed assessment of the needs and the potential of demand-side response and storage. Based on the assessment, an indicative objective  shall be set and supportive measures, such as a flexibility support scheme, may be introduced. It is important to properly include EVs as a source of demand response and storage in both the assessment of the flexibility needs and the objective for demand response and storage, and ensure appropriate participation of EV stakeholders in these assessments processes.

The reform further supports the participation of EVs in the markets

The threshold for participation in the day ahead and intraday markets get lowered to 100 kW, which makes them more accessible to aggregations of EV fleets. This will help develop the market for user-centric smart and bidirectional charging services. It may be advisable to extend this lower threshold also to capacity markets.

The reform accelerates planning for EV charging infrastructure

Transmission and distribution system operators will be financially incentivized to fully consider local demand side resources, such as EVs, when looking for solutions for grid congestion. System operators will propose further transparency and proactivity on their planning for connecting EV charging infrastructure, for example by sharing hosting capacity available for EV charging. This is essential information for providers of EV charging services and helps accelerate grid-efficient build-out of EV charging infrastructure.

[Video] Matteo Barisione (UNIFE) on Net Zero Industrial Act

Net Zero Industrial Act
Explained by Matteo Barisione, UNIFE

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The Net Zero Industry Act, a mere response to the U.S. IRA?

Matteo: Yes and No. The Commission’s proposal goes beyond a mere response to the American Inflation Reduction Act. It is an accelerator for clean tech using regulatory rather than financial measures. And the Platform really sees the proposal as an enabler for a competitive transition to electric mobility.

But in its scope, the Net Zero Industry Act mirrors the IRA too much. It needs to consider European transport system specificities and the whole value chain of e-mobility.

Third screen: How to improve the Net Zero Industry Act?

Matteo: Although we welcome the inclusion of batteries, charging infrastructures and grid technologies as Strategic Net Zero Technologies, we remain concerned about the lack of recognition of the entire electric mobility value chain: Net Zero Technologies should extend to include other EV-enabling technologies like V2G component manufacturers, and – as you can see we chose to talk today from a rail station – all zero-emission modes.

Forth screen: Extending the scope at the expense of existing sectors?

Matteo: Because the Act is a regulatory tool, not a financial one, extending its scope does not take anything away from the sectors already included.

In recent position papers, we detailed the financial and non-financial measures the co-legislators should bring up to make this industrial act truly European – so do go check it out!

[Video] Giovanni Matranga (ENEL Group) explains the CO2 Standards for HDVs

CO2 Standards for HDVs
Explained by Giovanni Matranga, chair of WG Logistics & buses

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Is the CO2 Standards for HDV ambitious enough?

Givoanni: CO2 Standards are a crucial piece of legislation to make sure that heavy road transport will make its part to the achievement of the EU climate goals. New standards are undoubtedly needed to set the right pace and a clear trajectory for everyone: manufacturers, logistics operators and the whole supply chain.

For us the platform, considering the average lifespan of a truck of roughly 15 years, it’s imperative to respect climate goals that almost all newly registered trucks should be 100% zero emission by 2035.

Regarding urban buses, we welcome the Commission’s strong ambition, although some improvements must be performed for a proper transition to zero-emission buses in cities.

What about the new definition of zero-emission vehicle?

Giovanni: I am sorry that I may be a bit technical here, but a key point is the new definition of “zero-emission vehicle”, that would consider trucks and buses emitting 5 grams of CO2 per tonne-kilometer as zero-emission vehicles. In our platform view, this could create a dangerous loophole and allow the sales of polluting vehicles even after 2050 and lead to greenwashing practises.

How to know more?

Giovanni: If you are still watching this video, I have good news for you. On the 23rd of May, Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and representatives of the trucks and buses industries will gather in a policy conference organised by the Platform for electromobility. Don’t miss your chance to participate in the discussion by registering on our website.

Emilia Valbum (3M) explains the Critical Raw Materials Act

Critical Raw Materials Act
The Platform's position introduced by Emilia Valbum

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Why does Europe need a Critical Raw Materials Act?

Emilia: It is true that some Raw Materials exists in Europe, but we still remains way too dependent on third countries for mining, processing, refining and recycling. Those processes are very much done in resource-rich third countries, which more experienced and more competitive. This is endangering both Europe’s autonomy in CRMs but also the respect of our environmental standards.

And the current geopolitical events and supply chain tensions increase this dependency. But also create volatility, higher prices and uncertainties over global supply. This is why we welcomed on principle Commission’s Act.

Three clear flaws for Europe on CRMs

Emilia: We urgently need to ramp up a domestic Electric Vehicle value chain if we want to reach our climate goals. On this path, we identified three obstacles:

First, Europe should look beyond battery manufacturing to ensure access to resources themselves, and create capacity to refine, process, and recycle those resources.

The second flaw is the excessive hurdles to the permitting that can become counterproductive to defend social and environmental protection. And third obstacle is Europe’s incomplete and limited mapping of geological and remining potentials.

What are the solutions?

Emilia: At the Platform we identified twelve areas where we think the Act should change things up. I won’t cover them all now but a large part of the solution is to remove barriers to the reuse and repurposing of EV parts, which could extend the lifespan of critical raw materials prior to recycling, thereby reducing the overall demand for CRMs. I invite everyone interested to have a close look at our details recommendations.

[Video] The Importance of the AFIR with Koen Noyens (EVBOX)

AFI Regulation
Explained by our member EVBOX

When it comes to charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation or AFIR is one of the most important EU policy files being discussed today. It defines the legislative framework for public charging for the next decade and is instrumental to realising the Green Deal.

The AFIR is indeed vital for realising a dense, accessible and user-friendly charging network across Europe.

The Platform for electromobility is a strong advocate for creating a uniform EV charging market through binding targets set at Member State level. We believe that through a harmonized Regulation, we can avoid the risk of creating a two speed Europe regarding the EV charging rollout.

The Platform supports both ambitious fleet-based targets as well as distance-based targets across the European highways network.

We need to get going now. We call on the European Parliament and the Council to agree on an AFIR fit for the Green Deal. There is no time to lose to reach our climate targets! You can find more details on our recommendations on Commission’s proposal under the video.

[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.