The Malta Independent 25 May 2024, Saturday
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Malta to have over 360 public electric-car charging points by end of the year

Janet Fenech Thursday, 28 October 2021, 16:53 Last update: about 4 years ago

EV charging rates being offered in Malta are amongst the lowest rates across Europe

With an investment of approximately 3 million, the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development, Miriam Dalli on Thursday launched a project that will see the installation of 130 new electric car charging pillars across the country in the short term. Together with the modernisation of existing charging pillars, this means that the country will have over 360 charging points by the end of the year.

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Of these new EV charging pillars, 108 will be medium-speed charging pillars (PC 22 G2 AC) that will charge an EV in-between 6 to 9 hours, depending on the size of the car battery.

22 of them will be fast charging pillars (QC45 DC) that charge an EV within 0.5 to 3 hours. This will be the first time Malta has introduced fast charging EV pillars. The pillars have two charging points each.

All of these new public chargers will support ad-hoc and cross border charging, which will be integrated within a Network Management System (NMS) and will be managed via an App ‘Charge My Ride’ compatible with both iOS and Android OS mobile phones.

This App will be easy to use following a simple registration process with no membership. The App will show the user where the charging pillars are located across the island and which are in use at the time of using the App.

To use a charging station, the user must scan the QR code on the pillar through the App and then pay as you go. Both ad hoc and cross border charging will be available.

The App will also send the user a notification when their car is 80% charged so as to give them some time to go and pick up their car. It will then also notify the user when their car battery is fully charged.  Thus, the App will know whether someone is leaving their car in a charging station even once fully charged.

At the moment, there are 56 charging pillars across the island. These will be modernised. There will be 48 charging pillars in Gozo.

The new pillars will be functioning under the interoperability concept such that it will allow for an open charge protocol so as not to force using only one operator as was the case up till now.

 

New rates launched - E-DRIVE plug ‘n’ Charge

For medium speed charging pillars: off peak (between midnight and 6am and 12pm and 4pm) at €0.1698/unit and on peak at €0.1885/unit

For fast charging pillars: off peak (between midnight and 6am and 12pm and 4pm) at €0.1798/unit and on peak at €0.1985/unit

 

How does fuel cost compare to electricity cost?

With an estimated driving distance of 300-350km/week (considering an average of 50km/day), petrol would cost around 30 per week, whereas an electric charge would cost about 13 per week.

Dalli noted that the EV charging rates being offered in Malta are amongst the lowest rates across Europe.

 

‘Green Jobs’: New employment opportunities

Minister Dalli noted that not only is the switch to electric car an imperative for a more sustainable environment but that the new technology behind these EV charging pillars and cars offers new employment opportunities.

“This is not an environmental transition but also a transition that creates new investment and career opportunities in manufacturing,” said Dalli.

She noted that her ministry intends to up skill and reskill people who are interested in the maintenance of this infrastructure and that she is already seeing an interest which is giving her ministry the courage to continue with more of such investment.

Today, Malta has around 4,700 electric or plug-in hybrid cars on its roads, 3,290 are electric and 1,410 are plug-in hybrids.

Also addressing the press conference, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Ian Borg said that just as the rates for these new charging stations were amongst the lowest in Europe, the new EV grant launched for Budget 2022 was one of the highest if not the highest in Europe.

He said that his ministry aided the implementation of this project and will continue to aid to move the country towards sustainable modes of public transport.

On his part, Parliamentary Secretary for European funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said that this project was revolutionary on various fronts.

“It is not just a switch from combustion engine cars to electric, but as a revolutionary change that will have various impacts like new employment opportunities,” said Azzopardi.

He noted that the EU ‘Just Transition Fund’ will further enable the investment of more charging pillars across Malta. And that the government will seek funds from the European Social Funds Plus to invest in training for these new skilled jobs.

“These sustainable initiatives that we are launching today and those planned for the future show that the government made important choices as to using a large portion of European funds on environmental initiatives,” he added.

The conference was held at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in Hal Far that has begun manufacturing electric vehicle parts in Malta.

For more information about these new EV charging pillars visit the website https://Chargemyride.mt/, email [email protected] or call on 27799299

 

Utility bills overcharging

Asked by journalists about the €50 million in overcharged utility bills, Dalli said that the government is doing its utmost to protect consumers, businesses as well as eco-contributors going forward.

She appealed to all those who have any concerns about their utility bills to speak to ARMS.

She said that despite the regulator saying that the current system was legal, in the upcoming months the government is going to address the present anomaly in ARMS through a legal notice and it will then seek to revise the law.

“We do not want a situation wherein someone will lose their eco contributions or as the PN were going to do, allow for business to be affected badly. We want to ensure that if some units on a bill were not utilised, they will be able to be brought forward to a following bill,” said Dalli.

A draft report by the National Audit Office (NAO) had found that consumers could have paid extra charges on their electricity and water bills.

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