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31 March 2011

Europe-wide Green eMotion Initiative to pave the way for electromobility

IREC GREEN EMOTIONThe European Commission has kicked off a 4 year cross-European initiative to promote electromobility. The 42 partners in the initiative comprising industrial companies and automobile manufacturers, utilities, municipalities, universities, and technology and research institutions are to input, exchange and expand their know- how and experience in selected regions within Europe.

“Electromobility will make an important contribution toward reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Green eMotion is intended to ensure the fast-track success of electric vehicles,” said Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for Transport. The project volume has been budgeted at EUR 42 million, of which the EU will contribute as much as EUR 24 million.

The partners in the initiative are to accumulate experience with electromobility in existing and new test regions within Europe and refine the technology. Key issue is the development of European processes, standards and IT solutions that allow customers of electric vehicles easy and seamless access to charging infrastructure and related services throughout the European Union. Standardization is also the key factor for a fast and cost- efficient European rollout of electromobility. The total number of charging spots within the existing demonstration regions will be more than 10,000, as nearly 1000 are going to be installed in Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga, some 400 in Rome and Pisa, approximately 3600 in Berlin and about 100 in Strasbourg. In Denmark, the country with the world’s largest share of wind-based power generation, car importers expect to put 2,000 electric cars on the roads over the course of this year and as many as 2,000 public and semi public charging stations will be installed in Copenhagen, Bornholm and Malmö. Furthermore, some 2,000 electric vehicles and approximately 3,500 charging stations are part of a nation wide rollout in Ireland. .

“The local concepts applied to date, in which experience was accumulated in specific demonstration regions, will now be bundled in cross-European trials. The aim is to pave the way for electromobility throughout Europe. This will require standards for infrastructure, networking and IT,” said Heike Barlag from Siemens, who coordinates the Green eMotion project. “By bundling individual activities in a major partner initiative we’re gaining momentum and transparency, and ensuring the coordinated development of electromobility.” Experience with cars, busses and two-wheelers with pure electric drive systems and as hybrid vehicles is to be gathered in the Green eMotion project. Special aspects in some of the demonstration regions include battery swapping and DC charging as well as smart grid integration, cross-border traffic, different payment systems and the testing of alternative business models.

The IREC plays a key role in this project which consists of monitoring electric vehicle experiences around Europe over a three-year period, gathering information on the vehicles, the charging infrastructure and the users, that will take part in identifying the most appropriate systems from the viewpoint of public perception. This information will be used to identify the best policies to promote electric vehicles.

Moreover, drawing on extensive experience in projects in the field of intelligent networks and the energy economy, the IREC is responsible for a large part of the activities related with innovative strategies to guarantee an optimal introduction of the electric vehicle into the grid.

In this regard the IREC will take part in developing technologies that make it possible to manage the way in which the vehicles can charge their batteries, promoting transfers during times of the day with least demand and maximising the amount of renewable energy used for this purpose. “The identification of best practices at both the technology level and that of policies to promote electric vehicles throughout the demonstration projects being carried out at present should serve as the basis for a European vision that permits the introduction of the electric vehicle en masse”. Said Antoni Martínez, IREC General Director.

The partners in the Green eMotion Initiative are the industrial companies Alstom, Better Place, Bosch, IBM and Siemens, the utilities Danish Energy Association, EDF, Endesa, Enel, ESB, Eurelectric, Iberdrola, RWE and PPC, the automobile manufacturers BMW, Daimler, Micro-Vett, Nissan and Renault, the municipalities Barcelona, Berlin, Bornholm, Copenhagen, Cork, Dublin (represented by the energy agency Codema), Malaga, Malmo and Rome, the universities and research institutions Cartif, Cidaut, CTL, DTU, ECN, Imperial, IREC, RSE, TCD and Tecnalia, and the technology institutions DTI, fka and TÜV NORD.

About the IREC

IREC is the leading centre for research in the energy sector in Catalonia. Created in 2008, it is specialised in Technological Research and Development activities related to saving energy, energy efficiency and renewable energies; more specifically, it has work lines based on technologies related to micro networks, electric vehicles, energy storage, building efficiency, bioenergy and biofuels, and offshore wind energy.

The Institute also has an electricity and power electronics area and another aimed at research, design and characterisation of materials for energy. The Institute will be rolled out progressively through to the year 2014, at which time it will have 160 highly qualified researchers.

IREC is based out of Barcelona and Tarragona and the members of the board, chaired by the minister of Enterprise and Labour, Francesc Xavier Mena i López, are drawn from the Government of Catalonia, through the Ministry of Enterprise and Labour and the Ministry of Economy and Knowledge, and the Government of Spain, through the Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology Research (CIEMAT) and the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE). Other members are the University of Barcelona, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Rovira i Virgili University, as well as the companies Endesa, Gas Natural Fenosa, the Repsol Foundation, Enagás, Compañía Logística de Hidrocarburos (CLH) and Alstom.