This report presents a description of Barcelona pilot and the needs of the users involved in the demonstration activities.
The pilot can only be properly described if a snapshot of the context is provided. In that sense, an overview of the geographical and demographic information is included to derive the challenges at the pilot site.
Barcelona is the second most populated city of Spain. The city and its metropolitan area cumulates over 3.2 million inhabitants (42% of Catalonia population). The surrounding mountains, apart from limiting the geographical spread of the city, create hilly terrain that make the use of electric assisted light electric vehicles attractive. Also the heavy traffic make them attractive.
The main challenges identified in the pilot site are: 1) low penetration of EVs, 2) non- fully interoperable and non-profitable charging infrastructure, and 3) difficulty to build business models based on energy flexibility.
The low penetration of EVs can be explained primarily by the extra cost involved in the purchase of an electric vehicle compared to a combustion vehicle. Some incentives and subsidies are provided by public authorities at national, regional and local level to help drivers to shift to EVs. The figures are promising but still too low to make an impact on air and noise pollution and grid management. A secondary reason is range anxiety and lack of awareness of EV technologies. GreenCharge will be able to cover user needs that need to recharge their vehicle at work by setting a booking system among Eurecat employees. Besides, analysis on the impact of different charging strategies in the health of the battery, will help to better estimate the SoC and the range. Dissemination events, open days and workshops will contribute to raise awareness.
Regarding non-fully interoperable charging infrastructure, some initiatives are in progress to connect local networks of charging points, mostly publicly operated. Most of them are accessible using an RFID card, but some already provide access through an app. The latter approach will foster interoperability. The reason for charging point infrastructure not being profitable is that most of them are free of charge. With such low penetration of EVs, public administrations, utilities and charging points manufacturers have deployed charging infrastructure open to citizens. The model is not sustainable in the long term; as soon as the number of EVs increases the number and profitability of charging operators will increase.
The final challenge is the difficulty to build profitable business models based on energy market and energy flexibility for mid- and small companies, due to regulation and predominance of 3 big utilities. However, there is still room for optimization at local level for fleet operators that manage a big number of EVs and facility owners that are willing to fulfil EV drivers’ needs without big investments in the infrastructure. The Energy Smart Neighbourhood GreenCharge component will be instantiated in the three demonstrators in Barcelona to demonstrate the feasibility of efficiently manage renewable energy locally produced, price tariff variability and grid constraints.
The Barcelona pilot is divided in 3 different demonstrators spread along Barcelona province: 1) Eurecat demonstrator (8 different locations in Catalonia), 2) MOTIT demonstrator (3 locations in Barcelona) and 3) Sant Quirze demonstrator (mid-sized town beyond Barcelona metropolitan area).
The GreenCharge scenarios to be tested in Barcelona pilot site are: booking, charging and enforcement of private charging points open to Eurecat employees, optimal charging station and building management (for the 3 demonstrators) and mobility as a service use cases including the trial of incentives to drop MOTIT e-scooters near the battery hubs (acting as charging stations) and the upgrade of an e-bike sharing service for commuters in Sant Quirze.