Increased energy demand for electric cars being ‘taken into consideration’ – Energy Ministry

Last Updated on Monday, 16 August, 2021 at 6:08 pm by Andre Camilleri

Despite the recent overloaded demand for electricity across the island, the uptake of electric cars and thus the ensuing further increased electricity demand has been “taken into consideration”, a spokesperson for the Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development told The Malta Independent.

The second interconnector between Ragusa and Malta, the completion of which is slated for 2025, is estimated to cut emissions from the energy sector by 58% by offering 200MW of additional capacity, the Ministry said.

The €170 million investment will relieve some of the increased electricity demand which is envisaged by the encouraged uptake of electric cars in Malta, the spokesperson said, answering questions from this newspaper.

The Ministry was answering questions after Malta went through a spate of power cuts throughout recent weeks, a summer heat waves battered the islands, driving up electricity demands which Enemalta’s distribution system ultimately couldn’t cope with in certain places.

The power cuts at a time when tourism is not at its peak left many wondering what a future with more tourists and more people being encouraged to purchase electric cars may look like given the current energy woes.

Budget allocated to 2021 scheme for purchase of Electric Vehicles and Plugin-Hybrids fully allocated

The €2.5 million budget which was allocated to the government’s electric or hybrid vehicle purchasing scheme for this year has already been issued, a spokesperson for Transport Malta told The Malta Independent.

In switching to an electric vehicle − falling under the M1 or N1 category while de-registering and scrapping another M1, M2, N1 or N2 internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle which is at least 10 years old from its year of manufacture – one can receive up to €9,000.

The scheme is a key part of a government push towards electric and hybrid vehicles, as it seeks to make Malta’s transport greener.

Other schemes, such as a recently announced €40 million project to electrify Malta’s public transport fleet, have also been mooted as part of the solution to moving the country towards greener transport initiatives.

How is Malta fairing in the move towards electric/hybrid cars?

By the end of June 2021, electric and hybrid motor vehicles accounted for 2 per cent of the entire stock, with a total of 8,367 motor vehicles.

2,126 of those are motorcycles, e-bicycles, or PA-bicycles, while 5,785 of them are passenger vehicles (4,297 are hybrid, and 1,488 are fully electric). The remainder are split across other vehicle categories such as goods carrying vehicles, quad bikes, and other special purpose vehicles.

On the other hand, 241,609 motor vehicles or 59.2 per cent of the total had petrol-powered engines and 156,365 or 38.3 per cent of total motor vehicles in Malta were diesel-powered.

When compared to the previous quarter, an increase of 28.2 per cent, 21.6 per cent and 12.7 per cent were registered in the electric, hybrid/diesel and hybrid/petrol motor vehicles.

How much energy does an Electric Car take to charge?

The amount of electricity used by electric car charging stations in Malta depends on the type of charging station one uses, said a spokesperson for the Energy Ministry.

There are two types of electric car chargers on the island: Alternating Current and Direct Current.

The charge used for EVs depends on the type of charger one opts for. As an example, a Fast AC recharging point, three phase, is able to deliver electricity at a maximum power output, P > 22 kW.

The Fast DC recharging point relates to a maximum power output of 50 kW ≤ P < 150 kW, the spokesperson said.

“With this in mind, and the different types of charging points that will be made available, the government sought to plan ahead – also because, the vision towards shifting to electrification started years ago. Malta’s generation expansion and investment plans have taken into consideration the low-medium-high projection plans for EV charging,” the spokesperson stated. 

How many electric car charging stations does Malta have?

The first National Electromobility Platform was launched in 2013, and to date, there are 102 charging points available for the general public, 12 of which are powered by solar energy, and are available free of charge to the public, she said.

Such points can be found at the Ta’ Xbiex Marina, the Deep Water Quay Marsa carpark and the Cirkewwa (Malta-Gozo ferry) terminal car park.

By end of this year, the Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development shall be operating 130 new charging pillars, 22 of which will be fast chargers, the spokesperson told this newsroom.

The existing pillars are mainly slow to medium, 3 phase pillars providing an AC power supply. The charging time depends on the size and type of the battery which an Electric Vehicle has in place as well as the speed of the charging point, the spokesperson said.

As a general rule, the time taken for the battery to be charged depends heavily on the battery pack of the vehicle and the technology used within the vehicle and these charging stations have been equipped with Solar Car Ports as part of the PORT-PVEV project, the spokesperson noted.

The ministry said that further details on the public charging infrastructure will soon be announced in a policy paper which is yet to be launched.

- Advertisement -