The Chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, said that the electric car must play a central part in the EU’s Energy Policy, as it can make a contribution to meeting the European Commission’s 2020 targets.
In his talk at the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Competitiveness, held in San Sebastian, Galán argued that the electric vehicle is the most reliable alternative for improving supply security, promoting sustainability and optimising competitiveness.
He pointed out that, although there have been many advances in this technology in recent years, there is still a long way to go on such issues as lithium ion batteries and recharging points, and on regulatory matters.
If the electric vehicles is to be developed for the mass market, it will be vital to consider the impact this will have on power distribution networks.
The Spanish power system is currently capable of supporting 10 million electric vehicles, if they are recharged slowly and at times of low demand such as overnight. This will also boost the penetration of renewable energies like wind energy and ensure more competitive energy costs, according to Iberdrola’s Chairman.
He explained that recharging stations for these electric cars will have to be developed gradually, in line with the growth in vehicle numbers. He argued that the first recharging points should, therefore, be installed in private garages, ensuring security and the fulfilment of the requirements he had previously mentioned, with public stations, which will enable faster recharging but require greater investment, being developed at a later stage.
Ignacio Galán emphasised the need for this new model of electric transport towards which we are moving to guarantee access to recharging facilities at competitive prices, insisting that power companies will be capable of providing simple and efficient solutions without the need for major investment. The more agents there are involved in the chain, the more expensive the product becomes for the user, he argued.
He reminded the audience that power companies will play a major role in the deployment of these vehicles as they will be responsible for ensuring power supplies, developing smart grids for recharging vehicles, and launching new services to meet users’ needs.
Finally, he described Iberdrola’s long experience in the development of this technology, which dates back to the 1990s, pointing out that the group currently has a range of transport electrification initiatives in progress around the world. Iberdrola es the world’s largest wind power company.