Europe has an ambitious goal to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050. To achieve this target, the European Commission will announce a multitude of new legislative proposals in the coming years. Many of them target mobility.
The European Commission is seeking to have at least 30 million electric vehicles on the roads by the end of this decade – a massive increase from the current 1.4 million EVs on the European streets. Reaching this goal demands a set of regulations and targets to steer states, companies, and consumers in the right direction.
Currently, the European Union promotes the rise of electric mobility in multiple ways, from pushing the car manufacturers to produce low emission vehicles to supporting the development of comprehensive charging infrastructure.
The EU’s unique 750 billion euro stimulus package includes 20 billion euros to boost the sales of clean vehicles, and 1 million electric and hydrogen vehicle charging stations are to be installed by 2025. In addition, many countries are directing their own national economic recovery investments to the infrastructure of the future: electric vehicle charging.
“Transport represents almost a quarter of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions, so boosting e-mobility is very crucial if we wish to achieve climate goals. The charging infrastructure needs to be aligned with the new targets,” Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, a Finnish member of the European Parliament, describes the current ambitions.
What is cooking at the EU level?
EU level measures affect each and every sector. For example, a large portion of the EV charging infrastructure actions will be taken in the real estate sector. Building owners are required to prepare conditions for cars to be plugged in. The Clean Energy Package includes a set of updated or ongoing building regulations that push EV home charging forward.
“With these legislative proposals, there is a momentum to create a comprehensive and smart EV charging infrastructure that will be, as much as possible, based on renewables, and supports the demand-response of the smart grid,” Kumpula-Natri declaims.
A few examples of new & upcoming EU legislation
The EU taxonomy is a classification system, establishing a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. The EU taxonomy is an important enabler to scale up sustainable investments and to implement the European Green Deal. This new EU classification system means that industry operators need to extensively report how they have reduced, prevented, and managed emissions in order to have access to financing.
The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)
Current energy efficiency improvements are intended to reduce at least 32.5% of the EU’s overall energy consumption by 2030. This non-binding target can be reached by hastening the shift to more efficient, electric vehicles, and increasing the efficiency of the existing vehicle population.
In practice, multiple countries have already taken concrete steps to fasten the transition towards e-mobility with national zero-emission mobility targets or introducing scrappage schemes and rewards for old cars. The directive has already been implemented in member countries and can and should be supported with ambitious transport policies that support the EU's 2030 energy efficiency target.
The Renewable Energy Directive (RED)
By today, a majority of European Union member countries have not yet incentivized the use of electricity as a fuel in the same way they do with for instance biofuels. Yet, electricity is the cleanest alternative to oil.
The refreshed Renewable Energy Directive, RED, offers a chance to move away from crop-based biofuels such as palm oil to cleaner fuels. The creation of a credit system would help in increasing the rise of renewable fuels since renewable electricity requires a separate infrastructure to be introduced to the market.
The deadline for RED transposition in the member countries is the end of June 2021.
The Energy Performance of the Buildings Directive (EPBD)
The revised Energy Performance of the Buildings Directive is a must-know for all real estate sector actors. Depending on the purpose of the building, EPBD obligates new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovations to either install charging stations or ensure the installation of ducting infrastructure in parking spaces.
The Commission has also proposed a smartness requirement for the charging points: meaning, that the chargers should be capable of reacting on signals from the grid. In the long term, smart charging stations are a cost-efficient choice for both real estate owners and consumers.
Market Design Directive and Regulation
Furthermore, the Market Design Directive encourages member states to introduce smart metering systems in using electricity.
”Smart homes, smart villages, and smart cities can place the consumer at the center of the energy system. As local and renewable energy sources will decarbonize the energy usage, smart grids are needed to balance the system,” Kumpula-Natri explains.
Smartness in charging unravels the possibility that electric vehicles have in providing stability and flexibility to the grid. With MDD and smart charging systems, consumers have a right to use, generate, store, and even sell energy without redundant charges.
Real estate sector: Get help in planning your smart and electric future
The Clean Energy Package and other upcoming EU legislation is sending a loud and clear message to the real estate sector: electric vehicle charging is a solution that meets many challenges at once. Legislation requirements aside, real estate businesses also need to keep up with the sheer demand for EV charging services by their tenants and customers.
”Changing the targets really means new actions.”
- Miapetra Kumpula-Natri
The renewed requirements generate actions that are not just mandatory measures, but economically sound choices for real estate owners. After all, there are many ways real estate businesses can become more sustainable, but EV charging is one of the only options that is also a potential revenue generator: chargers attract new tenants and customers, increase the value of the property, and will help to keep the rental price at a current level, or even to increase it.
Virta can help you in fulfilling legislative requirements and take part in the rise of smart energy systems. Let’s work out a plan to implement smart EV charging as a part of your future.