The global push for sustainability has placed electric vehicles (EVs) at the forefront of environmental targets. To facilitate the widespread adoption of EVs and meet these goals, governments and businesses must rally together and provide the necessary support.

“But whereas incentives and financing facilities remain crucial, education plays a pivotal role in dispelling misconceptions surrounding this technology and ensuring a smooth transition towards e-mobility,” says Alfred Camilleri, managing director of EVPoint.

Earlier this month, EVPoint unveiled its first flagship project, a DC charging hub for Malta Public Transport which can take up to 30 buses concurrently. This 3 MW system, the first of its kind in Malta, is powered by Finnish brand Kempower, represented in Malta by EVPoint and a brand considered at the international forefront in the production and supply of DC charging systems for commercial vehicles and public transport.

“As governments and companies face mounting pressure to meet environmental, social, and governance requirements, their appetite for investing in EVs seems to be growing,” notes Camilleri.

“However, businesses continue to encounter obstacles in the form of installation and maintenance costs for charging infrastructure, especially when providing fast charging options. Such demands can strain the local power grid, necessitating government support in the form of funding and tax incentives.”

“This is when utilities should collaborate to design systems that optimize available power, ensuring efficient energy distribution,” he added.

While the existing grants for EV purchases and recent governmental initiatives, such as allocating 250 electric vehicles for the public sector and implementing regulations for Charging Point Operators, signal progress, additional support is required.

Local businesses looking at investing in such infrastructure can already start looking at EU financing instruments such as the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility, a funding opportunity that supports the development of alternative fuels infrastructures.

Education plays a pivotal role

This facility combines grants from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), Transport with financial support from institutions to maximize the impact of investments. Managed by the European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), the AFIF is implemented by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other national banks, while other financial institutions can also contribute and calls for funding have already been released based on the multiannual work Programme 2021-2027 for the Connecting Europe Facility – Transport sector.

Camilleri notes that to justify these funding opportunities, infrastructure upgrades and grid connection requirements, particularly for DC fast charging, must be prioritized to enable fleet operators to function effectively.

“Because without adequate funding, incentives, and financing facilities, the nation’s targets for EV adoption will be hindered,” said Camilleri.

Education is critical in driving the adoption of EVs and dispelling misconceptions surrounding this transformative technology. By providing comprehensive information, education empowers consumers to make informed decisions, fosters public policy that prioritizes e-mobility, and cultivates a qualified workforce.

Firstly, education raises awareness about the lower operating costs associated with EVs. Secondly, informed consumers are better equipped to navigate the EV market and thirdly, a qualified workforce is essential for the growth of the EV industry and this necessitates education and training programs to equip professionals with the necessary skills to support the growing EV infrastructure.

“Lastly, and crucially, education will drive the formulation of effective public policies that promote e-mobility. So, by educating policymakers and stakeholders about the benefits of EVs, governments can then be better poised to develop regulations and incentives that further encourage the transition to electric transportation.”

“Only by combining these efforts, we can accelerate the adoption of EVs and pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future,” concluded Camilleri.

MaltaToday: Accelerating EV infrastructure requires support and education | Alfred Camilleri