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Autumn 2016 European Energy Innovation     35


POSITIVE SPILLOVERS OF ELECTRO-             The EU’s transport sector is currently     ADOPTING A SYSTEMIC APPROACH
MOBILITY                                    94% dependent on oil , with a bill of      Even though technologies to electrify
Electric transport offers numerous          up to €1 billion per day on oil imports.   transport are already available on
advantages. Electric vehicles (EVs) are     Using electricity in transport – above     the market, they are currently a
cleaner, quieter and three times more       all when electricity is increasingly       niche market. Projections on how
energy efficient than their conventional    generated domestically e.g. via            fast this niche market will grow, vary
counterparts. Using electricity in          renewable energy sources in Europe –       widely and largely depend on the
transport can reduce significantly          would help reduce those imports and        evolution of policies supporting the
local air pollution in cities, especially   thereby lower the annual cost of the       decarbonisation of transport.
when it comes to pollutants such as         EU’s oil import bill.
particulates, NOx, SOx, VOCs and                                                       A number of initiatives like the Platform
ozone. According to the international       But EVs also offer benefits to the         for Electromobility (initiated by various
non-profit association Transport &          power system as such: they could           stakeholders including EURELECTRIC)
Environment, particulates and other         support the power system in its energy     and Gear 2030 (initiated by the EU
harmful substances stemming from            transition by maximising the local grid    Commission) currently encourage
transport exhaust gases are causing         integration of variable renewables.        electro-mobility, but the efforts could
half a million premature deaths a year      Electric vehicles can play a dynamic       be better coordinated.
in the EU¹. Thus, surface transport         part in the electricity system by acting
electrification would effectively address   as local storage connected to a smart
the public health crisis caused by urban    home charged from customers’ own
air pollution.                              solar panels. This will also facilitate
                                            the integration of prosumers in the
The electrification of light vehicles such  electricity system while reducing the
as bicycles and powered two-wheelers,       peak production exported to the grid
cars, vans, trucks and buses, and also      and flattening the demand curve.
the further electrification of railways,
will help Member States to meet             By means of smart charging, electric
greenhouse gas emission reduction           vehicles can act as flexible loads
targets for 2030². A shift to electro-      which again benefits the power
mobility could halve emissions in urban     system as a whole by minimising
centres by 2050 and zero-emission           or eventually avoiding grid
urban logistics could be attained by        reinforcements. A widely electrified
2030. Furthermore, it would effectively     European car fleet in combination with
cap the emissions of the sector by          smart charging would offer significant
de facto bringing them under the EU         capacities in terms of load shifting and
Emissions Trading System (EU ETS),          also could provide ancillary services to
which again would strengthen the            the electricity grid. Analysis shows that
EU ETS. In addition, electrification        even if all cars on the road today were
would contribute to the achievement         electric, the current electricity system
of the Transport White Paper’s              could cope with the resulting increase
objective of banning combustion             in electricity demand, provided that
engine cars from urban areas by             the charging of those cars is carefully
2050.                                       managed.
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