The future is here. Electric vehicles have arrived and we are looking into mobility based on electrons instead of fossil fuels. So far so good!
But how do we ensure that we also can be safe driving from A to B and still have power in the batteries?
On the island of Samsø, Denmark, the number of e-vehicles is high. The municipality has now more than 30 cars running on electricity and servicing elderly people in their homes. We have a municipal canopy solar roof to charge the cars and it works perfectly.
The government stresses that installing charging points on the islands is a private market operation. This is a national rule that a municipality is not allowed to sell electricity. So how do we ensure that there are available charging facilities?
Samsø Energy Academy coordinated with stakeholders and NGOs on the island a campaign where we signed a contract with a private company to install 8 charging points in public places. We made an agreement with the municipality about a long time lease of parking places so it would be feasible to invest in the establishment of grid connection and in servicing guests with e-vehicles.
This system is fully commercial and is installed with an automatic payment system.
At the same time, we collected from funds money to support private chargers to be installed in villages and in local business parking with access for the public. These charging points are organised with financial support from funds and will either be free for members of the community or based on a payment on a trust-based agreement. People will pay per kW they charge into their vehicles, and we cross our fingers that they will all understand the importance of trust so the system can avoid too much administration and security.
When we add up all the requested chargers established, we end up having about 30 points on the island plus an unknown number of garage chargers in people’s private homes.
The problem on islands is that we often have a limited market but a constant need. If the development of the infrastructure relies on the market economy, it will be a problem for many European islands. This will result in islands lacking behind in the transition of mobility.
A combination of loads and transport, batteries and storage will be a point of interest. If we can balance the grid with battery capacity and use existing infrastructure consumption via cars and ferries as well as buses and trucks it might be just what we need to bring us into the future.
By Søren Hermansen, CEO, Samsø Energy Academy
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