EVE and Repsol form a partnership to build and operate an electric vehicles charging network in the Basque Country

Through this partnership, both aim to become a leader in public charging points in the Basque Country and set a benchmark in state level market standards for electric car recharging technologies.

The charging network will be launched in 2011. During the first half of 2010 work was carried out on defining the charging facilities to be implemented, on designing the network and on drawing up the business plan.
Both EVE and REPSOL will participate in this project with a 50% stake each; the company will be based in Bilbao as a public limited company from where the power transmission system will be operated.

In 2009, in its strategy for introducing electric vehicles into the Basque Country, the Basque Government acknowledged the need to develop an infrastructure of charging points throughout the entire territory to ensure the mobility of electric cars with lithium ion batteries.

On October 29, 2009 both the EVE and Repsol chairmen, accompanied by the leader of the Basque Government, signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in establishing a charging network for electric vehicles in the Basque Country.

Since that date until June 2010, both companies have worked on developing the technical specifications for charging facilities to be implemented in the coming years, on the design of the network, and on drawing up the business plan of the company that has been created for this purpose.

Two working groups with representatives from both companies of a technical and managerial nature were established, and external technical assistance for both technical and business issues was also provided.

The new company created by EVE and REPSOL

The new company is called IBIL, Gestor de Carga de Vehículo Eléctrico, SA. of which both EVE and Repsol own a 50% stake. It is based in Bilbao and will operate the electric system charge as defined in the Electricity Industry Act.

Its mission is to develop an infrastructure network to charge electric vehicles and to market charging services (electricity and value-added services) in the public sector and related areas. It aims to be a leader in public charging points in the Basque Country and to set a benchmark in state market standards for electric vehicle charging technologies.

The new company will start operating in 2010. Various pilot sites will be installed before the end of the year and the network will begin to be launched in 2011. This year, 85 points are programmed to be installed, after which it is planned that the network will rapidly increase to between 7,000 and 13,000 points in 2020 and to 70,000 in 2030.

According to the plan, the first charging points to be installed are at the following locations:

– Public thoroughfares and car parks in the three Basque capitals.
– Shopping centre car parks.
– Park and ride at public transport stations.
– Private and company car parks.
– At different points on motorways in order to give EV drivers peace of mind if they notice they are low on battery. These points will be on main roads, and at service stations.

Ibil’s involvement in this initiative seeks to stimulate an activity whose full economic cost and widespread implementation will be achieved over a long-term period, thus dissuading potential private investors. Ibil pursues the dual purpose of ensuring mobility of electric vehicles throughout the Basque Country and of introducing the Basque energy and electronic industry into this new market.

Penetration Phase of electric vehicles into the Basque Country

Ibil’s business plan is part of a strategy to promote the electric vehicle, expecting there to be a gradual increase in the number of electric vehicles in circulation by 2020, by which time it is estimated that 10% of cars registered in that year will be electric.

This goal will not be achieved if potential users feel that because of the lack of charging points, they can only drive locally and not travel long distances.

This is why it is considered necessary that during the initial years, charging points should be installed at a faster rate than the sale of these vehicles, in an attempt to lessen the sense of insecurity of potential users and encourage the purchase of these electric cars with lithium ion batteries.

The expected launch date for each of the recharging types (slow, semi-fast and fast), as well as the preferred locations for each of them can be seen in the graph below, which also displays the new Company’s intention to start pilot projects before the programmed launch date, for both the semi-fast and fast charges.