Wind-based electrification and sufficient charging points are key to zero-emission transport
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Wind-based electrification and sufficient charging points are key to zero-emission transport

On Friday 18 March WindEurope contributed to a high-level roundtable organised by ACEA, the European Vehicle Manufacturers Association, along with major vehicle manufacturers and industry associations. In a joint declaration, WindEurope and other key associations called on European policymakers to implement the right policies to back the transition towards zero-emission transport.

To reach zero-emission transport, the EU must ensure that barriers to the faster uptake of electric vehicles and the roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure are removed as soon as possible.

Decarbonising road transport is one of the major challenges of the European Green Deal. Europe wants a 55% CO2 reduction in the transport sector by 2030 and carbon neutral mobility by 2050. The EU is also moving towards ending the sale of combustion engines. But while the power sector has achieved significant emission reductions over the past decades, the decarbonisation of transport is stagnating.

Together with ACEA, CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, Eurelectric and ChargeUp Europe, WindEurope called for the right policy framework to kick-start the transition to net zero-mobility. This crucially includes incentivising the uptake of renewables through the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) and rolling out recharging and refuelling infrastructure through the Alternative Fuels Directive (AFIR) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Moving towards zero-emission transport only makes sense if it happens in parallel with Europe meeting its renewable energy targets. Wind energy is key to the direct electrification of transport. There is simply no point in electrifying transport with electricity sourced from fossil fuels. To ensure sufficient renewable electricity, the EU wants wind energy to rise to 1,300 GW by 2050, up from around 200 GW today.

“Electric car sales are booming – they are now 25% of all car sales. But the charging infrastructure is lagging behind. So WindEurope have teamed up with the motor industry, Eurelectric and the charging point providers to call on Governments to pull their finger out and speed things up”, says Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO.

EV charging stations are not only needed for passenger vehicles but also for future fleets of heavy trucks and public transport. Total investment of €280bn will be needed up to 2030. This includes private and public charging infrastructure deployment, grid upgrades and further investment in renewables to ensure that the future of EV charging is powered by renewables wherever possible.

Currently Europe is not installing enough electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Every week it installs 2,000 public charging points. But it needs to be installing closer to 14,000 per week between now and 2030 to keep up with the sharp rise in demand for EV charging.

The optimisation of Europe’s electricity grids is essential as well. As Europe moves towards a zero-emission vehicle future, fast chargers will need to be factored into the design of Europe’s smart electricity grids. Smart grid planning will ensure that charging points are available wherever they’re needed. Not only within towns and cities but also along Europe’s major motorway networks. This will remove concerns around range and availability of electric vehicles.

Similar to issues faced by wind energy, the permitting of charging infrastructure is an ongoing problem that needs to be resolved. Public authorities must ensure that they have the right level of ambition and expertise. The roll-out of charging infrastructure should not held back by administrative obstacles.

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