The proactive development of the electricity distribution networks is the main condition for electrical mobility in Bulgaria.
This is one of the important conclusions of the Expert Discussion on Energy, Climate and Electric Mobility held on 10 April 2019 within the Energy Managers’ Forum of Utilities magazine.
Representatives of Bulgarian enterprises related to electric mobility, as well as representatives of the electricity distribution companies took part in the discussion. The experts reached common findings about the perspectives and obstacles for the development of electric mobility in Bulgaria.
Over the next 10 years, the growth of electric vehicles in Europe is expected to grow. By 2030, the leading industrial countries in Europe and the world will end domestic sales of carbon-fueled cars, and the number of traditional cars in operation will quickly decline.
The massive introduction of electric vehicles into the European Union, which will start over the next 5 years, will result in a drastic decline in transport and construction and will trigger new technologies, industries and occupations. For Bulgaria, electrical mobility will create opportunities for new industrial niches and new employment that our country can only use if it does not allow to be lagging behind the European economies in this direction.
But the development of electric transport in the European Union will lead to the introduction of environmental restrictions for trucks, cars and construction equipment powered by carbon fuels. European Union countries that fail to keep pace with new technologies and their information and infrastructure provision will suffer considerable trade losses and will be subject to sanctions both because of the use of gasoline and diesel transport and because of the insufficient capacity of national networks from charging stations.
Electricity distribution networks are the key to the introduction of electric mobility technologies in transport and construction in Bulgaria.
The main factor, which threatens to limit the introduction of electric mobility in Bulgaria, is the advance development of the electricity distribution networks.
In order for the usage of electric vehicles for freight transport and construction, which will lead to huge savings and efficiency gains, it is necessary to advance the development of electricity distribution networks in long-term investment planning.
The necessary investments in the network infrastructure can only be realized within the framework of a national target program for action in the field of energy and regional development. For the deployment of a national network of power stations with sufficient power, a growth in electricity distribution networks is needed, which cannot be achieved for 1 or 2 years.
Expert analyzes show that in order to build clusters of power plants in exchange for only 40% of cars in Bulgaria with the EPC, without the massive penetration of electric construction equipment and without electrification of road freight transport, targeted investments will be needed in electricity distribution networks for at least 5-7 years.
Next 7 to 10 years of investment will be needed to minimize the deployment of high-power charging stations without which it is impossible to enter electric mobility in freight and construction.
At present, Bulgaria is lagging behind the leading European countries in the proactive development of the electricity distribution infrastructure, which should ensure the construction of a national network of power stations with sufficient power. Delayed network development may create a lag of 5-7 years in electrical mobility, which will pose risks to the development of the Bulgarian transport sector and a lag in the efficiency of construction and industry.
For the development of electrical mobility it is necessary to introduce the term normative measures and the creation of policies in several directions:
- Elaboration of a national strategy for the joint development and management of electrical mobility and distribution networks in the introduction of smart grids;
- Full review and update the regulatory rules and policies to stimulate EDC to invest in faster development of distribution networks;
- Introduce procedures for cooperation between EDC and municipalities to develop plans for the development of electricity infrastructure;
- The introduction of technical standards for the construction and management of public electric vehicle charging stations compatible with the technologies applied by the EDC.