NEWS - 2023/02/23

Automotive Innovation: Building the Charging Infrastructure for Electric Cars


In Europe, road transportation is responsible for 20% of total CO2 emissions. Metropolitan areas where traffic is denser suffer from pollution externalities and our societies pay the price of climate change.

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional gasoline and diesel automobiles. However, the adoption of electric cars also brings with it the need for solid charging infrastructure and some other challenges as the limited driving range or the high purchase costs.

Nonetheless, these problems are being solved due through technological advances, increased investment in loading infrastructure, and sustainable mining practices.

Talking more in depth about the current system for charging EVs, the actual volume is insufficient due to the predicted exponential growth of the EV fleet in the upcoming years. Europe has ambitious targets regarding electromobility and the total share of the electric fleet is expected to reach 5% by 2025. To support this growth, 1.2 million extra publicly accessible EVCPs need to be provided by the respective deadline.

Additionally, private chargers are an investment that is frequently underused. The availability and accessibility of charging points are crucial to the success, as it allows drivers to recharge their vehicles when necessary.

In this context, was born SELECTIVE, which aims to optimize the use of private charging points for electric cars through a peer-to-peer shared charger’s app to add private underutilised chargers to the public offer, raising thus their utilisation rate and optimising the system.

The project is led by CARNET and developed in collaboration with SKODA AUTO, ChargeUp, PowerHUB, MOVEN, Eurecat, Madrid City Council, and the City of Prague. The presence of SKODA as a partner in this project, a leader in the car manufacturing industry, shows the importance of this type of initiative in changing and improving the current infrastructure.

Several cities around the world have taken steps to prepare for the adoption of electric fleets such as Oslo, Norway which has the highest share of electric automobiles in the world, with over 60% of new cars sold being electric. A key figure, driven by city’s implemented such as free parking and tolls, among others. Another excellent example in Europe is Amsterdam, which has more than 4,000 charging stations spread out around the city.

Spain has made significant progress in developing its charging infrastructure, with over 7,000 public charging points available across the country. Besides this ongoing investment, Spanish cities, including Madrid and Barcelona, have implemented low-emission zones that restrict access to certain areas for high-emission vehicles, encouraging the use of electric cars and reducing air pollution.

There are still some challenges to solve in the field of electric car charging infrastructure but this kind of initiative such as the SELECTIVE project is crucial for optimizing the use of charging stations and supporting the transition to electric vehicles. Through the pilots we develop we expect to improve the current system to overcome the current barriers.

Project co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.