EP’s ITRE Committee votes for “right for the plug”, but whose plug?

The ITRE Committee in the European Parliament has voted in favour of electric vehicle recharging points in non-residential buildings. Furthermore, ITRE has supported the “right for the plug”, which means than no tenant or co-owner of a building should be stopped from installing a charging point, unless there is a material reason for it.

They also voted in favour of pre-tubing in one out of ten parking spaces in new or refurbished non-residential buildings with more than ten parking spaces. For buildings of mixed-use, ITRE demanded the application of the same provisions oas for non-residential buildings. Finally, the Committee welcomed the inclusion of pre-equipment provisions for public parking lots.

Unfortunately, with that, the Committee dit not vote in favour of the amendment aimed at providing specific charging and parking infrastructure for LEVs, including electric bicycles. This was put forward by ECF and supported by LEVA-EU.

LEVA-EU fears that without an explicit mention of LEVS, the legal provisions for electromobility will be interpreted as obligations for providing electric car mobility, whilst parking and charging infrastructure for LEVs may well be overlooked.

In its argumentation for the LEV-specific amendment, LEVA explained to the MEPs that, today, the success of electromobility can be mostly attributed to electric bicycles. Last year, almost 1.7 million electric bicycles were sold in the EU, taking the total fleet on the road to more than 8 million. Worldwide sales of electric bicycles last year were estimated at 35 million. To put things in perspective: according to the International Energy Agency[i] sales of full electric cars in 2016 amounted to 750.000. In a study, Weis et al. estimate that the battery capacity of the global electric two-wheeler fleet exceeds that of the global fleet of battery-electric cars by a factor of 30[ii].

These facts clearly show that there is a major imbalance between the political, media and public attention for cars compared with the attention for LEVs. LEVA-EU urged the MEPs to support Amendment 405 in order to start getting the balance right. Unfortunately, the argumentation fell on deaf ears.

The Committee report still has to be adopted in Plenary as well as by the Council. LEVA-EU is looking into further possibilities for improving the final legislative text for the benefit of LEVs.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–[i] International Energy Agency, (2017). Global EV Outlook 2017, Two million and counting, p.5 , available on https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/GlobalEVOutlook2017.pdf

[ii] Weiss, M., Dekker, P., Moro, A., Scholz, H.,  Patel, M., (2015).On the electrification of road transportation – A review of the environmental, economic and social performance of electric two-wheelers, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol.41, p348-366, DOI 10.1016/j.trd.2015.09.007

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