The penetration of electric vehicles in Europe is expected to reach between 30% and 40% in Europe over the next ten years, according to Redha Zetchi Fouchane, the manager of Endolla Barcelona, the company with the largest public network of electric vehicle (EV) charging points in Spain.
Fouchane, who participated in a study visit as part of Izmir-based BEST For Energy Project, said in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency that its main purpose as a municipal company is to lead the penetration of electric vehicles and to support its citizens in a new path towards the energy transition.
Endolla Barcelona aims to increase its charging point network in Barcelona from the current 650 points, equivalent to 6.5 points per square kilometer, to 1,000 points by 2023 and raise this further to more than 2,000 points, depending on demand.
The company has more than 10,000 users and almost 7,000 charges per month, with almost 75% of the company's charging points located off-street or in underground parking.
Despite this lofty aim, Fouchane explained that 100% deployment of EVs is not possible right now in a compact city like Barcelona with limited available energy.
He explained that the management of peak hours is among several other challenges the company faces in accelerating the penetration of EVs along with the impossible task of replacing the gas station model with electromobility services.
"The new model of how we should use our energy, how we should charge our EVs is also not immediate. Such immediacy is not possible," he said.
Another factor to consider with expanding this sector is in the fast development of technology.
"We want to increase our network beyond 2023 but we want to be careful with technology because we have the risk of obsolescence. In fact, technology improves very fast in this sector so one may start with a lot of charting points in three or four years but you have to be careful with that. And it is very important to anticipate the demand to promote the use of electric vehicles," he explained.
Despite the differences between the uptake of EVs in cities and countries, Fouchane projected that the penetration of EVs in Europe will be very high, at about 30-40% in the next ten years, depending on technology.
As this new technology is still in its infancy, he said it is nonetheless growing very quickly and the next five to seven years will be very important for its development.
An important hurdle to overcome in the aim to have greater EV usage is in changing the mindsets of people towards the use of EVs because recharging in five or six minutes is not possible right now.
"To change the mindset of our citizens in Barcelona, Spain, or all around the world will be very difficult because we are used to refilling our cars at a gas station," he said.
As part of the BEST For Energy (Boosting Effective and Sustainable Transformation for Energy) Project, supported by the European Commission within the scope of the Competitive Sectors Program of Turkiye's Ministry of Industry and Technology, a study visit by Turkish officials and sector entrepreneurs was held last week.
Initiated in the third quarter of 2020, the Izmir Development Agency (IZKA), along with the Association of Energy Industrialists and Businessmen (ENSIA) headquartered in Izmir, has been responsible for launching the BEST For Energy project to promote green growth and achieve environmental-focused sustainable economic development goals through structural development.
Source: Anadolu Agency