Infrastructure / Innovations 7 June, 2018 12:00 pm   
Editorial staff

Šefčovič: Electromobility is a return to our roots. Poland can be its leader

The PKEE E-mobility Summer Day is on in Brussels. The event is to promote Poland’s power sector in the European Union. This year’s theme is the electromobility. The conference was opened by Maroš Šefčovič who in the European Commission is responsible for the Energy Union project.

“How to make our future mobility zero-accident, zero-emissions, without traffic jams and unnecessary bureaucracy? It definitely will be more digitalised and less bureaucratic” – assured Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission, in charge of the Energy Union. “The first car in Europe was electric” – he reminded. He added that internal combustion engine powered cars turned out to be faster and less expensive to operate. However, it also turned out that petrol was harmful to the natural environment. And this is the reason for the rebirth of the idea of electric road transport.

“It is a key technology transition” – assured Mr Šefčovič. “One-fifth of CO2 emissions in Europe comes from the transport sector. This is the main source of pollution in our cities. It is the transport that is responsible for diseases and premature deaths going into millions worldwide, in Europe we are talking about 14 thousand deaths a year caused by polluted air. We cannot turn a blind eye to this anymore.”

„The transformation of the transport system and of the power sector has to go hand-in-hand to be effective. Some say that electricity generation is not a clean business. But now the transport will be increasingly powered by the green energy; this will be assured by the emissions trading system that will drive the change. We want at least a third of all cars to be electric or hybrid by 2030” – declared Mr Šefčovič.

“We want to use the electromobility for energy storage. An electric car can turn every house into a small power station. Consumers will be able not only to store electricity in batteries but thanks to a new energy market model they will be able to sell its excess back into the grid at peak hours” – said Mr Šefčovič who is responsible for the legislative proposals intended to establish the Energy Union. Some of them concern reduction of emissions in the power sector, industry and other sectors.

“We have to be realistic, but already now we are seeing that some governments are deciding to go further than we are proposing. Increasing engagement of local governments can be observed. These efforts are driven not only with the political fuel anymore but also by consumer needs” – said the Commissioner. “One of the biggest challenges is to get the support of carmakers that have to be sure that there is a charging infrastructure that will eliminate customer concerns with the inability to find car charging locations” – he added.

The representative of the European Commission has pointed to the positive example of electric heavy goods vehicles as a technology breakthrough no one would have expected until recently. “We can achieve our goals by 2025 just by using the existing technologies” – said Mr Šefčovič. In turn, in his opinion, the new technologies may make the heavy transport in Europe the world’s leader.

“I welcome the Act on Electromobility in Poland. Poland’s automotive industry will definitely benefit from transport transformation. However, first and foremost, Polish children will be able to breathe cleaner air and this is invaluable” – he said.

“If we want to become the leaders in electromobility, we need to be strong in the battery sector” – added the Commissioner. “I am glad we have managed to mobilise the energy storage sector in Europe. Poland has a big potential and is boosting its growth with investments such as the huge LG Chem factory near Wrocław” – noted Mr Šefčovič. In his opinion, Poland’s bus maker Solaris with its Urbino model may easily compete on the global markets after it was awarded a prize in Germany.

“The Energy Union is to a large extent a Polish concept created by Donald Tusk and Jerzy Buzek who have referred to the ideas of Jacques Delors. I have never imagined I will be in charge of this project” – disclosed at the end of his speech Maroš Šefčovič.

“I know how important is the mobilisation and evaluation of the progress of this energy transition. I thank the PKEE for this opportunity for discussions” – concluded the Commission’s representative.