EU member state Portugal is set to become the first country in the world to have electric vehicle charge points across its territory.
As per comments made by the country’s energy secretary to news agency Reuters, the Portuguese electric car charging network will be launched between January and June 2011.
Named Mobi.E, Portugal’s Programme for Electric Mobility will allow electric car drivers to journey around Portugal without the fear of being stuck with nowhere to top up.
The heartbeat of Mobi.E is the idea of interoperability – allowing all electric vehicle drivers the option of recharging at multiple points along their journey – no matter what car’s being driven, what service point’s been used and which service operator the point belongs to.
Portuguese Electric Vehicle Charging Points
25 cities and towns will host a total of 1,435 Portuguese electric vehicle charging points. 50 of these will be high-speed facilities and they will be sited in car parks, petrol stations, shopping centres and other public areas. The charging spots will be able to handle all varieties of electric vehicle, from HGVs to motorbikes.
“In the first half of 2011 in Portugal we will have a national network to charge these vehicles, it will be possible to go through the whole country without problems of charging electric vehicle”, Carlos Zorrinho told Reuters.
The Portuguese government is set to offer incentives to attract potential electric vehicle buyers: the first 5,000 will each receive payments of 5,000 Euros and even more is available when additional tax breaks and trade-in prices are taken into account. Furthermore, standard motor vehicles in Portugal are heavily taxed, to the extent that – by comparison- electric vehicles are only minimally more expensive to buy and operate.
Electric Vehicle Charging Network
While Portugal is presently heavily reliant on fossil fuels imported from other nations, it hopes that, by 2020, electric vehicles will represent 10 per cent of total road traffic and the creation of the electric vehicle charging network represents a move towards achieving that.
Alongside this, there are plans to decrease import levels and to further exploit the potential of wind power technologies. Currently, Portugal’s overall wind power capacity is approximately 5GW, but it is proposed for another 3.5GW to be added over the coming decade.