From three million in 2019 to four million in 2020. This was the increase in the environment fund to stimulate the purchase of electric vehicles. This measure, explains Eduardo Pinheiro, Secretary of State for Mobility, will always be accompanied by other policies such as, the installation of more than 600 charging stations so to encourage the market to continue to extend this network. “An important step was made, that allowed also other municipalities to have, at least, one charging point”.
Even so, and although the infrastructure it’s expanding “quite a bit”, it doesn’t grow at the same pace as the selling of electric vehicles, defends Antonio Coutinho, EDP Comercial’s Administrator, alerting to the urgency of “alienating” these two speeds so not to halt the “potential growth” of the electric.
Electric mobility and its role in the energetic transition in a post-pandemic scenario, where central points of the second session of the Portugal Mobi Summit that, this Thursday, counted with the participation of Carlos Carreiras, Mayor of Cascais, and also of Manuel Melo Ramos, CEO of Brisa Concessão Rodoviária [highways].
Nevertheless, electrification it’s not only bound to private vehicles, especially now that public transportations are the last option in this first phase of the reopening of the economy. And transformation – with our without pandemic interfering – will never be easy nor achieved “from one day to the other”, warns Carlos Carreiras, reminding us that, in order to make the investment in soft mobility and alter the logic of public transportations in the Cascais municipality, a “lot of stubbornness” was needed to break resistance.
“In Portugal and also in Cascais, there are always a group of interests that are well rooted and are difficult to overcome” says the Mayor, defending that, besides being comfortable and cheap, the transformation of the network will always have to be flexible enough to cover both areas with the most and the least demand.
In sum, these are strategic investments in order to continue with the energetic transition, but the short and medium length path is, for now, “very uncertain”, says Manuel Melo Ramos. If last year, public transportation and shared mobility seemed a sure thing, a tendency that “was not turning back”, now, in this post-pandemic phase, they are “quite” questioned. “I would say that its mainly a matter of fear towards contact and physical nearness” explains the CEO of Brisa Concessão Rodoviária.
We need to remember that the balance between smart-working and physically going to the office can also end up transforming urban mobility. If, on one side, there is an opportunity of alleviating traffic jams in rush hours, on the other side, it could also push for the adoption of individual transportation: “uncertainty it’s still too much for now…”
That is why we need to “act fast and actively” on mobility, recognizes the Secretary of State looking at the bicycle and the pedestrian circuits as the big bets in this phase of reopening: It’s a very important moment and we should promote micro-mobility, as we are doing, and at this level, municipalities have a decisive role as territory managers, in order to guarantee that it can happen” underlined Eduardo Pinheiro.