Contract to provide charging pillars for electric cars to cost €450,000 more than original estimate

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June, 2022 at 1:20 pm by Andre Camilleri

A variation of €457,360 to a government contract that was originally for €1.04 million was granted by the Department of Contracts in September 2021.

The contract had originally been for €1,043,930 (excluding VAT) and was for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of roadside electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Asked what caused such a variation and thus an increase in cost, a spokesperson for the Energy Ministry said: “The variation in question replaces 56 charging pillars which were originally installed in 2013. While these charging pillars have been successful in attracting a first wave of local EV owners, the infrastructure and its system architecture are dated and functionally limited.”

The charging infrastructure and the backend system which have been procured under this contract are built on an open protocol referred to as OCPP, making the network interoperable, flexible and therefore future proof, the spokesperson said.

“The network and its system architecture has also been designed whilst keeping in mind the National Policy for Electric Vehicle Public Charging Infrastructure, Directive 2014/94/EU (Directive on deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure) and their emanating requirements. With these considerations, the replacement of these 56 pillars is inevitable.”

“Upgrading and integrating these 56 pillars ensures that the general public has access to the best charging service and experience. 46 of the replacement units are ‘Medium-fast’ chargers while 10 are ‘Fast’ chargers, offering faster charging times in both circumstances. This will play an important role in ensuring that electric vehicles become an ever more attractive option to vehicle owners and that the electrification of the national transport system tackles relevant committed targets with efficacy. In Section 3 of the respective Tender Document, it is specified that the contracting authority has the option to increase the quantities under the contract up to a maximum of 50% of the contract price. The variation of €457,360.63 was therefore catered for as per procurement regulations and with the authorisation of the Department of Contracts.”

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