Fermin Bustamante is the Managing Director of Vattenfall Smarter Living GmbH and thus one of the responsible parties for the Europe-wide charging network Vattenfall InCharge. We asked him for an interview to talk about the growth of electromobility, the challenges associated with it and his view of the future:
How important is electromobility for Vattenfall as one of Europe's largest energy suppliers?
Vattenfall's goal is to enable life without fossil fuels within a generation. This will not work without the electrification of the mobility sector, which is why we, as Vattenfall InCharge, attach paramount importance to electromobility. Electromobility must become even more mainstream.
"In order to increase acceptance on a broad scale, the fear of sufficient range must be eliminated."
How can this be achieved?
In order to increase acceptance on a broad scale, the fear of sufficient range must be eliminated. Through education, new battery technology - and above all by driving the expansion of the charging infrastructure. With electric cars, we experienced the 'ketchup effect': First, too few were sold, then there was a surge in sales. The result, today there is a ratio of 23 electric cars to one public charging station – two years ago it was 10. Therefore, Vattenfall InCharge wants to actively contribute to the rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure. Together with both companies and the residential sector, as well as with cities and municipalities in (semi-)public spaces.
Can you give examples?
For example the cooperation between Vattenfall InCharge and the housing company Gewobag, is one of the largest expansion projects for charging infrastructure in the real estate sector. By the end of 2024, at least 500 charging points will be created for Gewobag tenants. In addition, cable trays and busbars are already being laid to quickly connect 1,300 additional parking spaces as needed. Following this model, we are also installing hundreds of charging points at Q-Park, one of the leading operators of multi-storey car parks in Europe.
Why do you often choose to rely on charging stations from KEBA?
Firstly, the quality of KEBA is great. We are talking about premium, reliable, safe and robust charging stations. And secondly, we always feel most comfortable with partners who, like us, have anchored the topic of sustainability in their corporate philosophy. For example, we think it is such a good idea that with the KEBA KeContact P30 GREEN EDITION the remaining CO2 emissions from production, transport, packaging and disposal are offset - so we included it directly in our portfolio.
Do you see any short term problems surrounding electromobility in the short term?
The current situation is certainly characterised by a general shortage. This concerns both the lack of components and the resulting delay in the delivery of charging technology - although we are not yet experiencing a shortage thanks to our cooperation with KEBA - and the number of installers. Vattenfall InCharge is currently making great efforts with regard to new partnerships with installation companies so that the expansion of the charging infrastructure is not slowed down by a lack of man/woman power.
And the long-term outlook?
We are very optimistic. With our charging card InCharge Key and the corresponding app, Vattenfall customers already have access to around 100,000 charging stations throughout Europe and can comfortably drive their electric car from the North Cape to the Mediterranean. With the EU's decision to phase out the internal combustion engine in 2035, there is no way around the need to further strengthen electromobility. We are ready for this and will work hard to positively shape the future of electromobility - together with motivated partners on the customer side and innovative manufacturers like KEBA.
We are ready for this and will work hard to positively shape the future of electromobility - together with motivated partners on the customer side and innovative manufacturers like KEBA.