MCS organizsed an interesting workshop about e-mobility in cities. Electric Cars and Smart Cities, a Business Approach to a New Mobility Model.
Last Saturday, 7th May, MCS organizsed an interesting workshop about e-mobility in cities. We talked about energy balance in urban contexts (with Madrid as a study case) with Julio Lumbreras. After that, Andrés Monzón (director at TRANSyT) explained the main features of e-mobility in cities and, finally, after the lectures, we had a round table debate about the same topic. This round table was attended by Alberto Vallejo (electric-car specialist at Nissan) Juan Azcárate (Madrid City Hall) and David Bartolomé (Business Development Manager at Car2Go.
One of the main topics of the debate was the presence of electric cars in cities and the development of this as one of the critical issues on the path to the Smart Cities. According to Juan Azcárate: “A big problem is that there is no business model for public charging of electric cars and it could be controversial if Madrid City Hall expended its budget for electric cars because as cars, they are a luxury item and produce externalities. Madrid vision is to establish the ecosystem to foster private renovation of vehicles. While most electric cars come with this problem, the counterexample is Telsa. They already have a business model, and they put superchargers for Tesla cars.”
Another issue is the people’s perception about the efficiency of the batteries. According to Alberto Vallejo “electric cars have dozens of benefits: they reduce pollution and petrol dependence and improve citizens health, but one of the main objections of the customers is that the batteries’ lives are too short. However, with one charge you can drive between 125 and 200 kilometres, enough for driving in cities. Another objection is that they are very expensive, but actually, maintenance is cheap (up to 50% of savings).”
Madrid, a Lab of Electric Car-Sharing
Later on at the workshop, we enjoyed the presence of David Bartolomé, who shared his knowledge about the company where he works, Car2Go, with us. The company is becoming more and more successful in Madrid as a public transport living lab. “Car2Go is in 30 cities over the world, but Madrid is special because the Council allowed us to park for free on the streets, as all private electric cars are allowed to do in Madrid. Madrid City Hall has established the best ecosystem to foster electric vehicles,” he asserted.
Car2Go is a tool to manage sustainable mobility in cities based on flexible car-sharing, without stations. “The business model is having a car within a 5 minute walk at all times. We do not have stations. We don’t ask our customers to leave the car in a specific place, so when a car needs charging, an employee goes to the street where the vehicle is parked and takes it to a charging station, we already have 4 superfast charging stations in Madrid,” he said.
After this, we heard Oscar García’s lecture, which defended of the use of electric cars in cities: “We have enough power installed to charge more than 1 million cars without any significant problem. If we just had 220,000 electric cars (1% of the total fleet) we would only need 660MW. This lowers our energy demand. Finally, in the middle and short term electric cars will help smooth the peaks of electricity demand throughout the whole day”, he stated.