Interview of the month: Michel Cozic
Michel Cozic, Electric Mobility Director at Bouygues Energies & Services, presents his view on the subject and the infrastructure and services set up.
Will we all drive electric cars in the future? What are the levers for growth in electric mobility ?
The market is currently still marginal as only 80,000 vehicles are in circulation in France (Editor’s Note: same number in Norway, European co-leader ). 16,000 charging stations are available in the public spaces, i.e. one terminal for 5 electric vehicles. This ratio is much below the needs, estimated at more than 2 terminals per vehicle to cover the country for daily requirements (home, workplace, activity areas, etc.). This touches on one of the main obstacles in the development of electric mobility in France. An Ipsos survey conducted in 2014, during the European Sustainable Mobility week, revealed that the appetite of French people for electric cars was neutralised by the fear of having insufficient battery life and therefore range on these vehicles and the perception of a lack of charging stations. Key reservations that prevent the desire for an electric car being converted into a purchase. However, the market is ready to boom and the number of electric vehicles could reach nearly 3 million in 2025/2030 in France, i.e. 10% of the total number of vehicles.
Progress in terms of electric vehicles is fast as evidenced by Renault’s new ZOE scheduled for April 2017 that will have an actual range of 300 km, i.e. twice that of the current version. This should clearly meet the needs of the French people, who cover an average of 40 km on a daily basis. It will important to reassure users about the national network of charging stations. The increased use of electric vehicles will depend on the deployment of recharging infrastructures and services in all places of everyday life.
What offers have been deployed by Bouygues Energies & Services to encourage these new uses ?
On the infrastructure side, our latest addition is the City Charge offer, a charging station for electric vehicles that is installed directly on the public lighting network. This urban furniture pooling system saves on resources due to the optimization of the existing furniture and a quick installation as no civil engineering work is required.
The development of this offer is made possible by the upstream deployment of Bouygues Energies & Services’ City Box, a unit incorporated into each public lighting lamp post, to transform it into an intelligent and communicating object. All lamp posts fitted with City Box become candidates for the installation of the City Charge, subject to being located close to the roadway and a parking space. As an example, the city of Boulogne-Billancourt is equipped with 6,000 City Boxes. The possibilities for deploying the City Charge offer are vast and cover all countries.
In terms of services, the Alizé electric mobility supervision solution offer for the owners of the recharging terminal networks but also to end users has already found its customers. It comes in the form of an application that allows users to access the recharging terminal network and related services: energy use monitoring, information on the availability of terminals, booking service (end of 2017) customer hotline and payment solution.
Bouygues Energies & Services offers a comprehensive solution to support the growth of electric mobility. With 40% of market share and more than 10,000 terminals deployed, Bouygues Energies & Services is a major player in the sector.
What are the prospects ?
An initial City Charge experiment was launched in the city of La Roche-sur-Yon in Vendée, in September 2016 in collaboration with ENEDIS (formerly ERDF). The goal is to announce a compatibility of this terminal with ENEDIS energy metering challenges by April 2017. We will then be able to move on to the phase of marketing these terminals.
At the same time, we are working on a second, less costly model of terminals to promote a quick appropriation of the product by local authorities. We are also considering designing a terminal reserved for 2-wheel electric vehicles (motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles) which would include 2 load points.
Other challenges lie ahead, in particular setting up a smart energy management system. The objective will be, on sites that in the future will have dozens of terminals, to spread the available charge swiftly and between users to avoid peaks of consumption and oversizing of electrical installations.
Have you got one last message to pass on ?
The recharging terminal market is at a turning point. This year, the ADVENIR programme, supported by the Ministry for the Environment, is subsidising the installation of terminals in the private homes by 40% (a grant of up to €1,360 for a €3,500 terminal including labour). This is a real opportunity to be seized and only valid for the year 2017. I invite all the Group entities wishing to install electric car recharging terminals to contact Bouygues Energies & Services, all the more so as there has been a Bouygues Group offer since last June.