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How can recovery packages support zero-carbon mobility?

One of the crucial infrastructures we need to build faster is electric vehicle charging. But money or even the amount of charging points is not the only thing that matters, writes Virta Ltd’s CBO Elias Pöyry

It is clear that the world is not in hibernation anymore. It looks like we have passed the worst phase of the pandemic.

Just about everyone is building recovery packages – from local to the European Union level. We must ensure that these packages are designed to support a new, better world instead of trying to safe pieces of the old world. This means that we have to take into consideration climate change and sustainability in all its forms – social, ecological and economical.

Recovery investments we are going to make in the next few years must be targeted to infrastructure of the future. One of the crucial infrastructures we need to build faster is electric vehicle (EV) charging. Electric car brings cars to a new era: Cars are no longer a liability for the climate. On the contrary, cars will become an asset to bring zero carbon society alive.


Germany sets an example

Germany introduced recently its economic recovery package. The package includes 60 bullet points that can serve as a good benchmark. It was quite a surprise to many that Germany didn’t put the investments on supporting their old car industry – instead Germany decided to invest in new mobility.

The economic stimulus package includes investment of 2,5 billion euros in the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and battery cell production. Germany aims to install about one million public charging spots by 2030, up from 27 730 currently.

The German economy ministry wants to earmark at least 500 million euros to support the roll-out of charging stations for electric cars. The sum will be targeted at private users, including households and builders as well as to intensify the build-up of charging points in public buildings.

In addition to the EV charging infrastructure investments, package includes an increase in the government buyer incentives for electric cars to 6000 euros per vehicle. And most importantly package includes an obligation for all gas stations to offer EV charging points. 


Faster together

Then there’s the European Union’s 750 billion euro “green stimulus” package including 20 billion euros to boost sales of “clean” vehicles and 1 million electric and hydrogen vehicle charging stations set to be installed by 2025.

According to the Commission’s own calculations, roughly 2,8 million publicly-available charging points will be needed by 2030 – some 15 times more than what is currently in place across the European Union.

But money or even the amount of charging points is not the only thing that matters. We also need strict rules on what to build in order to make this ecosystem standardized, globally scalable and interoperable so it can be used to help energy industry and hence to help to solve the climate change.

That is why it is increasingly urgent to revise the EU’s outdated Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID). This directive should introduce a much more ambitious approach for rolling out charging points across the entire European Union.

One thing is certain: we need to make the sector coupling between electric mobility, energy and digital sectors a reality. Virta is at the heart of this: We are building a global ecosystem to solve the climate change – this ecosystem consists of car industry, energy industry and digital industries.

Directing recovery investments to the infrastructure of the future are perfect way to accelerate this transformation. Germany has set an example. Now is the time for rest of the Europe to follow.


Elias Pöyry was one of the keynote speakers at the "Green & Smart Recovery - Mobility 2.0" virtual conference on 11 June 2020. Find out more about the virtual conference.

Virta is Europe’s fastest-growing EV charging service provider. Find out more about our services here.


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