Green eMotion conference sees launch of charging stations at the European Commission

On June 19, the European Commission introduced its first two charging stations during a Green eMotion conference. The stations were inaugurated by the Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport, Siim Kallas, and the Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, following an initiative by EURELECTRIC and charging-station supplier Siemens.

The European Commission took a decisive step toward the electromobility age by installing two electric-vehicle charging stations in front of its departments for transport and energy. The inauguration took place as part of a Green eMotion conference organised during the EU Sustainable Energy Week to inform visitors about the initiative’s ambitious aim of demonstrating interoperable electromobility technology in 12 regions around Europe. Key topics at the conference included the implementation of a European marketplace for electromobility, standardisation, strategies for implementing electromobility projects in cities, and information on the necessary charging and grid infrastructure. Installing charging stations is an important prerequisite for the successful introduction of electromobility: they raise overall awareness by demonstrating that electromobility is already a reality.

“Decarbonising transport lies at the heart of our plans for sustainable smart growth and the transition to a resource-efficient economy. Compared with today’s conventional petrol and diesel vehicles, electric cars can conserve up to 30 percent of CO2 emissions. They will help cities reduce local pollution and the EU's overall greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, electrifying road transport could radically change the way mobility is organised in Europe, particularly in urban areas,” said Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas, speaking at the inauguration event. “This project is a win-win situation: Commission staff and visitors now have a convenient way of charging their electric vehicles, while also delivering information on customer behaviour that will help Green eMotion to develop recommendations for further electromobility growth,” said Hans ten Berge, Secretary General EURELECTRIC. The charging stations will be operated as a small demo region of the Green eMotion project.

The conference provided an opportunity for participants in the Sustainable Energy Week to get acquainted with Green eMotion and receive an update on the project’s ongoing activities. The B2B marketplace – the central platform for all stakeholders with core services including partner, contract, and service management – received a lot of attention, because it will interconnect all stakeholders’ ICT systems and enable the mass-market adoption of e-mobility. Standardisation – a prerequisite for mass-market penetration of electric vehicles – was another key discussion topic: many challenges for both hardware and software standardisation remain on the path to ensuring EU-wide interoperability.

A concluding panel, moderated by ten Berge, confirmed the commitment of all stakeholders to electromobility, albeit for different industry-specific reasons: be it overcoming oil dependence (car manufacturers), searching for new business value (ICT industry), or coping with a changing electricity system (power industry, in particular DSOs). While it remains difficult to predict when a critical mass of electric vehicles will emerge, there was general consensus that further electrification of transport will occur due to its manifold benefits for society: decarbonisation, better air quality, business competitiveness, and securing energy supplies. To this end, Green eMotion is a key project that contributes to the successful mass deployment of electric vehicles by ensuring coordination among stakeholders.