210,000 E-Vehicles Expected in Austria by 2020


Electromobility is the key to sustainable reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions in private transport. A current, VERBUND-initiated study of the Federal Environment Agency (hereafter referred to as "Umweltbundesamt"), has revealed the fact that more than 200,000 e-vehicles are to be expected for Austria by 2020.

This shows that the 100,000 e-mobiles that the Austrian Mobile Power Platform had originally forecasted for 2020 may even be doubled. By 2050, e-mobility can reduce CO2 emissions in car traffic by 80 %; by 2020 it can already contribute to achieving the Austrian energy and climate goals. For VERBUND, a consolidated national road map, securing ecological utilization of power from exclusively renewable energy sources and transparent market regulations are all a sine-qua-non for Austria in order to confirm its pioneer role in e-mobility.

"Against the background of the economic goals of energy efficiency, reduction of emissions – here, especially those of CO2, but also particulate matter or noise – as well as supply security, VERBUND, as the initiator of the Austrian Mobile Power platform, and in collaboration with its partners from economy and research, wants to establish a valid superordinate overall system that works not only in Austria but also transnationally," explains Wolfgang Pell, Head of Innovation at the VERBUND Group and Manager of Austrian Mobile Power.

Electromobility is already able to support the transport sector’s 20/20/20 targets
In its study, the Umweltbundesamt has calculated a total fleet of cars and light-duty commercial vehicles amounting to 5.4 million vehicles in 2020. By way of comparison, the fleet in 2009 lay at approx. 4.7 million. "Our analyses of supply and demand in the coming years show that approx. 4 % of the Austrian car fleet can be substituted by electric cars and plug-in hybrids. This amounts to around 210,000 vehicles," declares Günther Lichtblau. "When converted, this is a reduction of approx. 360,000 tons of CO2 emissions."
The exclusive and traceable use of electricity from renewable sources would support the Austrian energy strategy target, whereby it is intended that the share of renewable energy in the transport sector amounts to 10 % by 2020. If the transport sector were to use electricity from renewable energy, this would be offset against the renewable energy target with a factor of 2.5.

By 2050, electromobility can reduce CO2 emissions from car traffic by 80 %
The Umweltbundesamt study shows that electric cars will account for 75 % of the entire fleet by 2050. A greater increase in new registrations of electric vehicles is expected from 2020 onwards, whereby a share of 50 % will have already been reached in 2025. In the car and light-duty commercial vehicle segment, it is anticipated that the only new vehicle registrations will be those for electric vehicles.

Purely by means of efficiency measures in conventional engines, the CO2 emissions resulting from non-commercial traffic will sink by a mere 20 % in 2050. "On the other hand, by 2050, 80 % of the CO2 emissions could be reduced through the introduction of electromobility within a structured framework," calculates Lichtblau. "In terms of technology, electromobility is currently the most promising option with which to reduce CO2 emissions in road traffic. Electricity must originate from renewable sources if this potential is to become a reality."

Electromobility fed exclusively from renewable sources in order to attain environment targets
Electromobility will only be successful if all necessary components come together: this begins with electricity production. The producers are called upon to provide electricity from renewable sources. According the Umweltbundesamt study, the degree of electricity required in non-commercial traffic will amount to 9 TWh by 2050. This will thus result in a fossil fuel saving of just under 32 TWh. "The electricity used for electromobility is equally able to cause emissions during its production. Therefore, in order to attain the greenhouse gas reduction target, it must be guaranteed that the electricity used originates exclusively from renewable sources such as water, wind and the sun," says Wolfgang Pell. VERBUND is equipped to generate the required clean electricity amounts, since 90 % of its production originates from domestic hydropower. By 2015, VERBUND is planning to make investments of around 1.8 billion Euro in further expansion and in powerful grids. Powerful and intelligent electricity grids are the prerequisite for the utilization of the strongly increasing, but also highly volatile wind energy with which electric cars are also being fed in increasing amounts. Alongside the hitherto only large electricity reservoirs – the pumped storage power plants -, the batteries of electric vehicles could in turn serve to stabilize the grid.

Essential: Electromobility balance group, as well as deregulated metrology
For this reason, VERBUND is proposing clear regulations in the use of electricity for electromobility from renewable sources. Included among these is an independent "electromobility" balance group in order to present the energy input in a way that is comprehensible and transparent for companies and consumers. An additional requirement is a deregulated metrology, with intelligent electricity meters for electricity consumers and also intelligent distribution grids.

Austrian Mobile Power implements technological beacon for electromobility
Alongside energy suppliers, it is predominantly the automotive industry and its component suppliers that are being challenged. The third key element is best described by the term "systems development" – in other words, the creation of the necessary infrastructure, data communication and so on. Together with partners from manufacturing, the energy industry and research, VERBUND thus initiated the Austrian Mobile Power (AMP) platform, with the rapid introduction of electromobility as its goal.

"We stand for the coverage of necessary electricity requirements from renewable energy and favour Austrian value creation within an international context. VERBUND is one of Europe’s largest producers of electricity from hydropower. Siemens, for example, operates the global competence centre for smart grids in Austria, while the Magna Group runs the world centre for electromobility from Graz. Together we are committed to the credo "user benefits instead of technology infatuation" and thus stand for focused incentives for an efficient and systematic introduction of electromobility," says Wolfgang Pell.

Austria needs a massive push for role as electromobility pioneer 
The VERBUND-initiated Austrian Mobile Power platform forms the basis for electromobility in Austria. In addition, rapid implementation requires more far-reaching decisions. In Europe, for instance, Denmark, the UK, Ireland, France and Portugal are currently creating favorable conditions for the rapid introduction of electromobility by means of tax measures and flat-rate funding models. The leading electric vehicle manufacturers concentrate on markets with sufficient basic conditions (safeguarded in the medium term): Renault Nissan will deliver at least 100,000 electric vehicles (mass-production vehicles, Renault Fluence ZE) to Israel from 2011. Similar plans exist – partially as government agreements  - with Denmark and Portugal (as well as France).