European Union countries have promoted sustainable development since the mid-1990s. In particular, the EU signed the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to curb carbon dioxide emissions at national scale and worldwide. Electric vehicles are increasingly seen as a valuable tool to achieve emissions reductions. The technical features of electric cars are progressively improving, making them more accessible to a wider constituency of car drivers.
The DemoEV project will conduct the first demonstration action deploying electric vehicles (EV) in Malta, distributing a sample of vehicles to volunteers. The test drivers will be carefully monitored to generate data that will enable the assessment of the potential for carbon savings in comparison with standard mobility habits and trends. A key monitoring distinction will be between EV charged via the electricity grid, and EV charged via photovoltaic (PV) panels.
The specific objectives of the project are as follows:
- To study if carbon neutrality can be achieved by recharging second-generation electric vehicles using photovoltaic systems installed on buildings;
- To evaluate the actual environmental efficiency of second-generation electric vehicles;
- To convince the target audience to switch to electromobility as opposed to the standard, highly polluting, conventional-fuel vehicles; and
- To study the environmental and economic efficiency of different methods of recharging second-generation electric vehicles.
The primary aim of the study will be to evaluate if PV panels installed on buildings can produce enough energy to recharge an electric vehicle and thus create carbon neutral transportation. The study will involve 24 second-generation fully electric vehicles, distributed among volunteers from private households, commercial delivery companies and government bodies. The selection of the volunteers will ensure that the vehicles will be used for very different specific purposes. Households will test Class B private cars used for personal transport. Delivery companies will test Class C light-goods vans used for delivering goods to shops in Valletta.
Expected results: The main project result will be a database detailing the daily driving habits of volunteers, and the related carbon impacts, which will be compared with benchmark data obtained during a three-month period prior to the start of the project. Comparative analysis of this data will then include:
- Energy efficiency;
- Unit costs of electricity compared with fossil fuels (tank-to-wheel);
- Comparative analysis of charging data from PV-installed infrastructure compared with charging from the standard grid; and
- Comparison of carbon savings from charging using the standard grid and charging using the PV infrastructure.
The project overall will be an important demonstration underpinning EV take-up in Malta.