The Time is Ripe for Electromobility

8/26/2010Vienna

Alongside climate protection, the growing energy requirement is also among the central challenges of the 21st century.

Supply security is more in demand than ever before. It is a scenario that calls for new means of mobility. This is also confirmed by the result of a public conference initiated by VERBUND in Kramsach, Tyrol.

The citizens’ key concern is an environmentally friendly mobility in private and public transport – both supported by electromobility.

The framework conditions are clearly defined. Going hand in hand with the increasing energy consumption, for which a global plus of 45 percent is being diagnosed by 2030, is the shortage of oil reserves. Alone the transport sector within the EU-27 consumes 73 percent of the crude oil used in Europe, for example. However, it is not just in Europe that mobility is too one-sidedly dependant upon the raw material of oil. "The transport sector therefore offers the highest potential for the replacement of crude oil with renewable energy," stresses VERBUND boss Wolfgang Anzengruber. For this reason, VERBUND – together with strong partners from industry and research - is developing a complete electromobility system based upon renewable energy within the framework of Austrian Mobile Power, a platform that was specially founded for this purpose. This system can be experienced for the first time in an interactive presentation at Forum Alpbach.

Security of Supply

Against the background of economic targets – energy efficiency, reduction of emissions and supply security - electromobility is an important key in the attaining of European and Austrian energy and climate protection goals, since it is able to make a considerable contribution to every single one of these targets.

Since electric vehicles are at least two to three-times more energy efficient than vehicles with combustion engines, they will make a significant contribution to the stabilization of energy consumption. Furthermore, the currently very one-sided dependence upon fossil energy – especially in the transport sector – will be balanced out through the use of domestic renewable energy, and the energy supply safeguarded in the long-term.

Attainment of climate protection goals

A recently published study by the Federal Environment Agency clearly shows that the CO2 emissions from cars would sink by a mere 20% by 2050 through pure efficiency measures in conventional drives. On the other hand, the introduction of electromobility based upon renewable electricity sources can avoid 80 % of the CO2 emissions by 2050. According to experts, electromobility is currently the most promising technological option for reducing CO2 emissions in traffic. In order for this potential to become reality, the electricity used must originate from renewable sources. However, the changeover to electromobility would not merely reduce CO2 emissions, it would simultaneously also reduce the noise and particulate matter pollution on our roads to practically zero.

Economic perspectives

An important basis for the sustained success of electromobility is the interplay of all necessary components. First and foremost are those of electricity production and supply from renewable resources. Two thirds of Austria’s electricity production is based upon renewable energy carriers, especially hydropower. By 2015, some 900 GWh of electricity from renewable sources will be added to this in Austria through the power plant projects already in operation. The e-mobility requirement can therewith be more than covered by 2020. This offers optimal prerequisites for an environmentally friendly "revolution" of the traffic system. Anzengruber: "We are part of a solution and equipped for the application of the necessary clean electricity quantities. VERBUND produces 90 % of the electricity from domestic hydropower." However, also closely linked to this are investments in the expansion and renewal of power grids. What is called for are "intelligent grids":  The energy and communication interfaces to the supply grids must be standardized, especially when it is a matter of taking into account that e-vehicles in future have to fulfil a double role as a means of transport and mobile energy reservoir.

A complete electromobility system corresponds to user needs

"An economic basis is necessary for the complete electromobility system, beginning with the electric vehicle through to the intelligent charging infrastructure, integration within the smart grid, as well as billing systems and transport telematics solutions. Comprehensive new business models will come into existence – that is an enormous opportunity for the economic and investment site of Austria," says Anzengruber with conviction. Energy and mobility are growing together and enable the customers of tomorrow to actively manage and optimize their use of energy. It is a perspective that conforms with the expectations of the users, as was made clear by the result of last weekend’s VERBUND-initiated public conference in Kramsach, Tyrol. 32 representative citizens from throughout Austria developed 15 recommendations on the future of transport and electromobility. An environmental mobility in private and public transport – both supported by electromobility – is a central concern for all citizens.