The president of EDP Comercial guarantees that the paradigm is changing. But she warns that we need to speed up the pace of electrification and the charging network, which falls far short of what is needed.
If there were any doubts that the mobility paradigm is undergoing rapid change, the path taken by Tesla and Uber are two emblematic examples, pointed out the chief executive of EDP Comercial, in her speech at the start of the Portugal Mobi Summit today.
“Ten years ago Tesla emerged with a disruptive technology that threatened to dethrone the classic automotive industry. Today it is the most valuable manufacturer in the world”, noted Vera pinto Pereira. Another case to which no one can remain indifferent is that of UBER which, “without owning a single vehicle for its operations was listed on the stock exchange in 2019 and is now valued at $100 billion”.
Those two examples help frame the breadth of change in mobility in recent decades. Unlike the past when the car was the obvious solution for everyone, today there is a huge range of combined moblity solutions, from electric bikes to scooters and carsharing, especially in the younger generations, such as their own children, emphasised the manager.
However, there is still a long way to go to achieve the decarbonisation to which we are committed, at European and world level, bearing in mind that for every 16 km travelled Europeans still travel 11 km in their own vehicle, she indicated.
Nevertheless, “as the Minister of the Environment has just announced, with sales of electric vehicles reaching a 25% share in September, the revolution is underway”, she said. What is certain is that “we cannot think of the future of mobility without the electrification of transport”, considering the climate emergency whose scenario is to increase the temperature by 1.5 degrees higher than we should by 2030.
EDP’s Chairwoman identified the European Union’s “Fit for 55” package as an opportunity in terms of regulation. This foresees a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030 and that Europe becomes the first carbon neutral continent in 2050.
And although Portugal is one of the best success cases in the adoption of electric vehicles, Vera Pinto Pereira says that we should not be satisfied, but rather look at the example of Norway, which reached a 75% quota in electric mobility in 2020 and hopes to reach 90% very soon.
In terms of the technology to support the electric mobility network, EDP’s CEO recalled, within the scope of new rules, that the States should have in the next four years, at least one charging point for every 60 km, which means 3.5 million points by 2030 and more than 16 million by 2050.
In this matter, and despite the great evolution in recent years, “we will have to accelerate the pace”, she said. In Portugal we have an average of 22 vehicles per charging point, when the EU average is only 11 vehicles. In other words, half.
Speaking for EDP, Pinto Pereira said that the company has invested more than 20 billion euros in renewable energy and by 2025 it will invest a further 25 billion, and plans to double its solar and wind energy capacity by 2025. And to be 100% green by the end of the decade.
Meanwhile, it is expanding its charging network, which already exceeds a thousand points, and multiplying solutions for customers in houses, condominiums and companies, and is present in 90 municipalities on the coast, interior and islands.