Charging terminals: private to take over

Charging terminals: private to take over

After the public actors, it is the turn of the private actors to take over the deployment of charging stations for electric vehicles. Bill 7925 analyzed this Thursday morning by the joint environment / economy committee wants to invest 40 million euros over four years – between 2022 and the end of 2025 – to encourage companies to invest in this infrastructure in turn.

Until then, the electricity distribution network operators – in this case Creos – had the task of installing 800 public charging stations – the Chargy and SuperChargy stations – across the country by 2020. 427 stations are currently listed on the chargy.lu website.

The network of Luxembourg terminals was despite everything, in 2020, among the densest in Europe, in second place behind the Netherlands, according to the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA). However, it is not sufficient to allow a massive use of electric vehicles and to achieve the national objectives of decarbonization of the transport sector.

reluctant companies

Private individuals had already been approached through a Grand-Ducal regulation of August 19, 2020 providing subsidies for those wishing to install charging stations at their place of residence. It is therefore a question, with this new legislation, of supplementing this aid scheme by now addressing businesses.

Because the latter remain apparently “reluctant” to invest in charging stations, notes the Ministry of Energy in the explanatory memorandum of the bill. There are various reasons for this: the low penetration rate of the market for electric vehicles, the considerable investment that this represents and the uncertainty as to the development of the market and the profitability of the investment.

“Level playing field”

To convince companies, the new legislation provides for three pillars of “aid”. The first offers subsidies for SMEs that want to install charging terminals in their car parks, for the benefit of their employees or their customers. These SMEs will be able to benefit from aid of up to 50% of the costs linked to the deployment of the terminals (with a ceiling of 40,000 euros) and 60% of those linked to connection to the electricity network (up to 60,000 euros).

The second pillar is a call for tenders for companies with a project to create or extend one or more charging infrastructures in public – or semi-public, areas such as supermarkets. The company can then be financed up to 50% of the costs related to the deployment of the terminals.

And, if the deployment of the public network was previously financed through electricity network charges, the third pillar of the bill, which transposes the requirements of a European directive, will transform this: all financing from now on will take place through subsidies, whether the beneficiaries are public or private players. A way to create a “level playing field” between them.

Double the capacities

The 40 million euros of public money invested (76% of the amount is however financed by the European post-Covid recovery plan) pursues the ambition, according to a “summary estimate”, of doubling the capacities of the infrastructure of public charge.

A goal that seems more than necessary. According to ACEA, 14,000 charging points should be installed per week on the territory of the European Union to have a chance of achieving the decarbonization objectives that it has set itself. Currently, the rate is 2,000 per week.