One by one, car manufacturers are unveiling their great ambitions for electric vehicles. A question remains, however, will the deployment of charging stations be sufficient in the face of the revolution in progress?
The revolution is on. The rise of the electric vehicle is only a matter of time, at least if we are to believe the enthusiasm of the manufacturers. Indeed, this week, the successive announcements of Volkswagen and BMW caused a stir in the sector.
In this case, VW has announced that it wants to sell a million electrified cars in 2021, while it hopes to become the market leader within five years. For its part, BMW declared want to sell some 10 million 100% electric vehicles over the next ten years.
“For the final soaring to take place, it will inevitably require an evolution of public infrastructure, so that everyone can recharge their car.”
These unpublished figures mark a little more the initiation of the great shift towards the electron. But for the major replacement to take place, consumers still need to follow suit and infrastructure to adapt. “Today, it is wealthy consumers who buy electric vehicles and charge them directly at their homes. it will inevitably require an evolution of public infrastructure, so that everyone can recharge their car“, observed the expert of the automotive sector of Deloitte, Eric Desomer, earlier this week in our columns.
11,000 terminals in Brussels
The observation is simple. For the adoption of electric vehicles by the general public to take place, the infrastructure must be adapted. The regions of the country are also starting to prepare for it and, little by little, the attack plans are starting to unfold.. But will it be enough? In Brussels, according to the estimates of the operator of the gas and electricity distribution network, Sibelga, 20 to 30% of the vehicle fleet will be electrified by 2030. To respond to this explosion, the Brussels government has planned to deploy more by 2035 some 11,000 stations with two charging points. The city now has less than 400. Important note: these infrastructures will not all have to be installed on public roads. The private sector will therefore have its role to play.
“It is imperative to provide for regulation and infrastructures adapted to the demand for the deployment of terminals.”
“Charging stations are now integrated into each project, according to our customers’ requests“, points out here Sven Lenaerts, responsible for CSR at the real estate developer Immobel.” But brakes remain. Firefighter standards make it difficult for us to install bollards beyond the first basement. Also, the power offered by the network manager limits us in our objectives. It is imperative to provide for regulation and infrastructure adapted to the demand for the deployment of terminals “, he adds. To this must be added underground car parks and private companies which, more and more, are installing stations. charging stations in their buildings.
On public roads, Sibelga plays the role of facilitator in calls for tenders. Today, the company Pitpoint, recently acquired by Total, is installing the outdoor terminals. From 2021, concessions will be awarded in batches after further calls for tenders. To ensure a homogeneous deployment by 2035, a distribution map will be developed. Another question mark – even if Sibelga ensures that its network is prepared for the electric boom without major investment until 2030 – 86% of the Brussels network is equipped with 230V, thus limiting the points for semi-rapid recharging, requiring 400V.
“It is possible that the targets will be revised upwards, especially as we feel a quiver on infrastructure bonds.”
6,900 in Wallonia
In Wallonia, where there are more private garages, infrastructure development needs are less. “Currently, as part of the Air Climate Energy Plan, 6,900 publicly accessible terminals are expected to be installed by 2030“, explains Pascal Lehance, advisor to the cabinet of the Walloon Minister of Energy, Philippe Henry (Ecolo).” However, the supervision of the deployment of terminals is covered by a European directive (2014 | 94) which will be revised this year. It is therefore possible that the objectives will be revised upwards, especially since we feel a tremor on infrastructure bonds, “he continues.
Here too, a territorial distribution plan is being drawn up and the integration of faster charging stations raises a few questions, while the Region estimates that 20% of vehicles in its territory will be electric by 2030. “It is expensive and difficult to make the network available for rapid infrastructure, such as on motorway rest areas for example“, indicates Pascal Lehance. At the same time, Wallonia is counting on the addition of 185,000 charging points in buildings housing businesses.
Note that a charging station costs at least 10,000 euros, for the less powerful. The issue of financing these deployment plans will also have to be resolved, as will access to state aid. For now, it is a question of monitoring very closely the evolution of the needs of the population, so that the electricity boom is not slowed down by the lack of infrastructure.. Finally, the democratization of vehicles represents another essential step in the massive adoption of electric mobility.