Government expects private sector to show interest in operating public charging stations – The Malta Independent

Sabrina Zamit

Monday, September 12, 2022, 2:07 PM
Last updated: about 38 minutes ago

The private sector is expected to show interest in operating public electric vehicle charging stations, reads the recently launched National Policy for Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.

The government launched the policy on Monday.

During a press conference, Marjohn Abela, CEO of the Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS), explained how this new initiative will help reduce carbon emissions. Apart from this, the introduction of more public electric vehicle (EV) charging points ensures that the commitment to a better environment is maintained, he said.

Engineer Abigail Cutajar, who is also an advisor to the Department of Energy and Sustainable Development, said following the introduction of electric car subsidy schemes, there were more than 10,000 electric vehicles battery-powered and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in August 2022, as well as the introduction of electric alternatives for public transport and the government fleet.

She said “a national goal is to achieve an increase in the number of electric vehicles by 2030” and also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 19% by the same date.

The government acts as a catalyst for this change, where it also holds discussions with stakeholders.

For the implementation of the project, a strategic mapping of the locations selected for project deployment took place, as well as the identification of market gaps both from a legislative, policy and project perspective.

Cutajar added that it is important that the private sector is also involved in this near future transition.

As the need for charging infrastructure grows, the policy reads: “The private sector is expected to show interest in operating public charging stations. This is something the government encourages and which is in the interest of a competitive market”.

“While government intervention is needed to alleviate the current market limitation, this should act as a catalyst for private investment, which will develop business models to finance, install, operate and maintain charging infrastructure in spaces. public,” the policy reads.

The national policy being introduced will guide charging service providers on how they can manage the current transition to electric vehicles. Its aim is to standardize outlets, harmonize payment systems and ensure price transparency.

The scope of the regulations, also presented during the press conference, concerns the charging of light vehicles.

He explained how the authorization of a charging station operator will be valid for 12 years against a fee of €500, as well as a fee of €75 per charging point every three years.

He also announced the launch of a Support Platform, which is an integrated platform operated by Business First under Malta Enterprise. This new platform will facilitate communication between all stakeholders involved, helping users to ensure that they are not limited to one operator’s charging stations.

Looking to the near future, Cutajar said this will ensure more green jobs while supporting a more liberalized market.

Also present at the conference was Energy Minister Miriam Dalli, who said that by inviting the private sector to tap, it can lead to the creation of a new niche sector.

She said that currently 10% of the country’s cars are either hybrid or fully electric “but there is still a long way to go”.

Among the many benefits, this green initiative brings different benefits such as better and greener communities and better air quality, she said.

She added that courses are also being set up to train mechanics for electric car servicing certification.

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