Hamburg and the Netherlands: more notes from e-mobility NSR

April 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Pic: hySolutions

Pic: hySolutions

And some more notes from the e-mobility NSR conference… feedback from the hySolutions public-private partnership in Hamburg, part of Germany’s Pilot Regions scheme (similar to our Plugged-In Places). MD Peter Lindlahr reported:

  • It’s not about competition between public transport and individual transport; public transport is the “backbone of urban transport” but integration is needed – with mandatory use of renewable energy! This demands strong political commitment on a local level with specific fields of action.
  • Private drivers were less of a focus than municipal fleets. Strong links with urban planning, housing projects, urban developments are needed (Hamburg is building 10,000 homes a year – it’s a fast-growing city, with consequences for transport including an annual 2.4% rise in public transit use).
  • New concepts and new mobility schemes with EVs need to be complementary, intermodal, i.e. car-sharing with smartcard system.
  • The 9000 buses in Hamburg (some hybrid) will all be zero-emissions by 2030 and the plans for EV use in the city are ambitious – an intended population growth from 800 at the end of 2013 to 5000 (including PHEV) in 2016.
  • This will be in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and local enterprises – C of C members could account for 12% of local car-market share, and a survey of members found that three in ten thought 50% of their vehicles could be electric within next two years. Up to 2020 this could mean 18,200 vehicles including 2,800 delivery vans.
  • There is also an ongoing taxi project, and a new mayor’s directive is targeting the replacement procedures on the municipal fleet – 30% of all vehicles will be replaced by EVs/RE-EVs or PHEVs, with 255 electrified vehicles already on-fleet. The e-Taxi Hamburg project incentivising local operators involves a ‘booster programme’ with 50 EVs and PHEVs (including the Nissan eNV200) as “creating visibility is very important”.
  • The parallel Electrified Economy and Eco Fleet projects are seeing EVs deployed on municipal and industrial tasks, and with SMEs, i.e. at Hamburg Port and in aviation and logistics; private sector firms involved include real-estate companies and utilities and there is discussion on the new-build districts and their infrastructure, including car-share programmes for neighbourhoods, and 600 public chargers (including 70 fast-chargers) by the end of 2015.
  • The criteria for success are availability (having an accessible range of products, both the vehicles and infrastructure); connectivity (coherency between different sectors, ie residential development integration, and also in terms of common standards); scalability (economies of scale which can be achieved); and visibility (the importance of creating public awareness, especially B2B, where procedures must be empowered and new business models created). Basically, it’s all about link-ups between sectors if e-mobility is to take off.

A team from Delft University of Technology has been looking at policy to support e-mobility development, based on a multinational (7-country) revealed-preference survey of consumer potential. Research student Dena Kasraian reported:

  • Medium-sized cities have the most potential for EV adoption – where people still drive, can park, etc. Suburban-dwellers are most likely to have private parking for recharging.
  • Looking at the need to use a tow bar (indicating, i.e. long-distance caravan-towing, for which an EV would not be suitable), the Netherlands and Sweden use these the most. The Netherlands had least potential for EVs of the countries surveyed, based on this and access to parking; Denmark, Norway and Sweden had best access to parking.
  • The model needs to add public transport variability, parking at work and non-work travel behaviour as further indicators of EV uptake potential.

Sjoerd Bakker then talked about the number of EVs (mostly PHEVs) in the Netherlands and ‘the Dutch storyline’ of how momentum has been building; but said that it’s an uphill battle to get EVs to the next level, and the need to look at governance at all levels – transnational, national, regional, municipal. He pointed out that only 30% of the mileage of PHEVs studied is electrically-driven, and a concern that PHEVs have ‘pushed out’ sales of all-EVs and “may not be helping in the transition” or “only postponing the real transition”.

Why so? Well, the ‘storyline’ I’ve heard from commercial quarters was that the Netherlands EV market has been a bit of an anomaly in that, because the country hosts the HQs for European distribution of certain Japanese brands, particular products (namely the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV) hit the road there (both in terms of use in trials and then sales to consumers) sooner than anywhere else…

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