“Today it is not profitable to put a public charging point for electric cars”

Madrid

Updated:26/10/2020 01: 02h

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The electric vehicle may be the great beneficiary of reconstruction funds after the coronavirus. The Executive of Pedro Sánchez has pledged that in 2023 there will be 250,000 vehicles of this type in Spain, and 100,000 charging points, compared to the 78,400 vehicles and 7,800 points that currently exist, thanks to a crash plan that must be finalized in the coming weeks. The challenge, however, will be enormous, given the poor starting situation in our country, the small number of electricity sales and the difficulties that companies encounter in installing electroline stations.

Prior to the Executive’s announcement, Endesa had committed, with its own public access charging infrastructure plan, to deploy 8,500 points by 2023, with an investment of 65 million euros. Elena Bernárdez, director of electric mobility at the company, describes the situations that she faces on a daily basis.

– In recent months, steps have been taken such as the elimination of the figure of the charge manager, the reduction in the cost of the power term or the declaration of the public utility points of more than 250 kW. It’s enough?

– The objectives that the Government has set to promote electric mobility in our country are very ambitious, but for them to happen, things have to happen that do not depend on the companies. Some are the ones that he comments, but it is essential that the administrative procedures for the installation of the recharging infrastructure be streamlined or its structural costs be reduced, such as the fixed term of power. We encounter many difficulties in deploying public access infrastructures. Administrative processes can take “months or years”, which does not make sense, especially in low voltage installations, for which a responsible declaration should suffice. Financial aid is always welcome and it can help us invest more, but the important thing is to streamline procedures and thus make it easy for the user when using their electric vehicle.

– Is it still more expensive to install a fast charging point in Spain than in neighboring countries?

– Today is not profitable. First of all, the fleet of vehicles that use this infrastructure is very small. Second, the facilities themselves are expensive, the more power the higher the cost in general, but it is not only a matter of the initial investment, but of the structural costs associated with its operation, the most relevant being the cost corresponding to the fixed term of power, which must be paid in a fixed manner, regardless of whether or not there are recharges or use of it. Faced with a scenario of few cars, with very sporadic recharges, it is a very important burden for those who decide to invest in this type of infrastructure. To give an example, for an ultra-fast charging infrastructure of 350 KW, you would have to pay between 30-35,000 euros per year.

It would greatly help the deployment that this type of cost, especially at the beginning of this market, where charges are very sporadic, but nevertheless the fact that there is charging infrastructure on the street helps people to move towards electric mobility , that these costs, in addition to being reduced, will vary depending on the use of the same

– What should be the next steps to facilitate its take-off?

How claimed Aedive (the Business Association for the Development and Promotion of the Electric Vehicle) last week, a single window is needed to deal with the Administrations, homogeneity in the processing of permits and licenses and public land tenders prioritizing the quality of the project, among other measures.

– How much can these fast charging facilities cost? How many should there be?

The cost of installing fast charging equipment can vary substantially depending on where it is installed, on average let’s say it is around 40,000 euros, to this must be added the costs of operation, maintenance, systems, etc. and the power term , that only this would be around 3,500 euros per year.

As for the amount, there is no magic number. From Endesa, what we did at the end of 2018 was to bet on deploying this infrastructure to help those who want to take the step to electric mobility, to make that decision. Our commitment to invest up to 65 million euros, and have more than 8,500 charging points installed in 2023, of which we are already on the way, and we hope to have 2,000 by the end of this year 2020.

– Is it a challenge to travel that charging points are concentrated in cities at the moment?

– It is still not possible to travel through Spain with the same behavior that we have when we take an internal combustion vehicle, since it is still necessary to plan more transfers. But each day that passes costs a little less. The autonomies of electric vehicles that reach the market are increasing and at the same time, charging networks are growing.

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