the draft strategy proposes more load pillars, lower electricity tariffs
Update at 13:22 with PN reaction
A draft national strategy for public charging infrastructure for electric cars offers advantageous off-peak tariffs and incentives for the private sector to invest in public charging stations.
The strategy aims to reduce carbon emissions by facilitating and financially owning electric cars, while preserving public health.
The strategy was unveiled for public consultation on Wednesday by Energy Minister Miriam Dalli.
Enemalta CEO Jason Vella said Malta is working to become carbon neutral by 2050 with the aim of electrifying all cars within a few years.
He said this has significant environmental benefits and that Enemalta aims to offer preferential rates to consumers so that electric cars become the most beneficial choice.
Enemalta had set up an electric recharging pilot project, where lower electricity rates were offered during off-peak hours and 58% of consumers benefited from this program.
The CEO of the Board of Directors of the Energy and Water Services Regulator, Marjohn Abela unveiled new rates for all residential and non-residential categories.
Political advisor Abigail Cutajar spoke of the importance of supporting the transition to electric vehicles, including electrification and increasing the number of public transport, reducing carbon emissions to at least 19% by 2030 and the launch of a green paper for consultation.
She also mentioned that it is essential that charging facilities be offered in multiple locations – publicly, at home, en route and at the final destination. For this to be implemented, a national infrastructure is essential as well as the facilitation of installing home charging stations.
The vision, said Cutajar, is to provide a level playing field for the private sector through standardization of plugs, harmonization of prices, regularization of the market and licensing, and a distribution plan.
She also insisted on the concept of interoperability, where one operator can benefit from the service offered by another in order to improve accessibility.
Energy Minister Miriam Dalli stressed the need for a national policy for clean transport and that changes should take place regardless of the environmental obligations imposed by the EU.
She said Malta is still at a starting point with around 4,000 electric vehicles on the streets.
Dalli said the incentive should come from lower fees, so she sought help from the private sector, where they could also come up with public pricing pillars.
Through this program, operators must obtain a license for 10 years, and there will be a national registry, which will be accessible to the public.
She said the electricity prices that will be offered are among the most competitive in Europe and will be much cheaper than gasoline and diesel prices.
This policy, according to Dalli, will lead to better public health, more sustainable communities, more green jobs and reduced carbon emissions.
MaltaToday asked her about PN criticism that the Labor government is sacrificing public health for the benefit of the economy, when the government lobbied the EU to lower the carbon reduction target from 36% to 19%.
Dalli said the PN is not credible on the energy sector and that the Labor government is a pioneer in launching this national strategy.
She added that some EU countries still use coal-derived energy, while Malta has switched from using heavy fuel oil to cleaner natural gas.
PN spokesperson David Thake denounced the Energy Minister, insisting that what she announced was not new. Thake said the minister had not indicated how she intended to tackle existing problems, including the widespread lack of charging stations and the need to educate people on how to respect the use of charging stations.
“A new government led by Bernard Grech promises an adequate infrastructure for charging electric vehicles backed by a reliable distribution network,” Thake said.