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2019 International NEV Forum – Key takeaways

The ECCT's Mobility committee arranged the full-day forum in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs' (MOEA) Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), the Ministry of Transportation and Communication (MOTC) and the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO). The purpose of the forum, which featured senior officials and executives from Taiwan and Europe, was to offer international insights and best practices on topics that are crucial to the future development of New Energy Vehicles (NEVs, namely, policies, charging infrastructure and business models. Read the full event report here.

The key takeways of the forum based on presentations and discussions are as follows:

  • Authorities in both Europe and Taiwan are committed to the transition to clean mobility.
  • Taiwan has all the elements required for a successful transition if the government and industry work together to achieve it.
  • European experience has shown that the majority of consumers will only choose NEVs if they are affordable and they will only choose Electric Vehicles (EVs) if they have confidence in the sufficient availability of charging options.
  • Subsidies, tax and other incentives are important to make EV prices comparable to those of traditional Internal Combustion Engine vehicles.
  • The experience of Norway is particularly instructive. While that country offered generous subsidies, tax and other incentives for more than a decade, mass adoption of EVs did not happen until a comprehensive charging infrastructure was in place. Once this happened, it took just eight years for the sale of EVs to reach close to 50% of all new vehicle sales in 2019.The successful roll-out of EV charging infrastructure requires government support and the cooperation of electricity providers and grid operators.
  • 90% of charging in future is expected to be slow AC charging but EV users also need the option of fast DC charging.
  • Grid management is also important. The pressure on the power grid needs to be taken into consideration when planning EV charging infrastructure while grid operators need to be able to predict charging needs and meet expectations.
  • Just like for wifi and roaming, there is a need for common charging standards. Charging operators are not willing to invest in charging stations unless there is a common standard to ensure interoperability and because different standards are confusing for consumers.
  • The EU chose the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) as the common standard for charging equipment in the EU while South Korea and Singapore have also adopted the same standard.
  • EVs will be part of the smart grid as vehicles connected to the grid can draw as well as give electricity back to the grid.
  • Batteries can play an important role of balancing supply and demand. EV car users can opt to allow their car batteries to supply power to the grid and receive payment for this.
  • In future, contracts between users and operators will be able to specify if you only want wind or solar energy and/or if you want to sell power back to the grid.
  • Old batteries can have a second life as energy storage units.
  • Another important consideration in future is security. Charging systems will need to be secure to prevent hacking, which is why encrypted technology is extremely important.
  • Given the potential for breakdowns, it is advisable to have more than one charging point within each charging station.
  • EV charging will create new business and revenue opportunities for charging operators, shopping malls, hotels and other parking lot owners.
  • The addition of renewable energy sources to the grid will be part of the solution as EVs can be charged using renewable energy and help to balance the energy demand load.
  • The current definition of peak hour power and the resulting cost of electricity will change. While off-peak hours under the current system are from around midnight to 6am, the addition of solar power to the grid will make electricity more plentiful at midday and mean that this will become the new off-peak rate period, while times when the wind is blowing strongly will also produce other intermittent off-peak charging periods. Conversely, supply will be tighter in the early evenings and this will become the new peak rate time when users will be charged a premium for charging their vehicles.
  • In future customers will be able to get a single bill for all their EV charging and other electricity usage.