Barcelona to have world’s tenth largest electric vehicle charging network

The service aims to curb CO2 emissions by 45 per cent and encourage the general public to embrace a sustainable, healthy lifestyle

With nearly 500 charging stations, Barcelona city will have the world’s tenth largest charging network for electric vehicles and Europe’s largest for motorcycles. Over the next four years Barcelona will be getting 100 underground charging stations, plus 40 fast-charge points on the city’s streets. On Thursday deputy mayor Jaume Collboni explained that the goal is to achieve a 45 per cent drop in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and steer the public towards a more sustainable consumer model. “We wish to promote a change of habits towards a sustainable kind of personal mobility, following in the footsteps of Bicing, which was a breakthrough in persuading locals to get around the city on a bike”, he argued.

The new facilities will be managed by Serveis Municipals de Barcelona and will be part of the Endolla Barcelona service. At present 5,000 drivers are using the existing network, with 194 charging stations for cars and 172 for motorcycles. The City announced on Thursday that this year they intend to roll out seven new fast charge points and four regular charge points for motorcycles in the street, while twenty of the existing facilities will be receiving an upgrade. However, this year Barcelona will only be getting 15 new charging stations, 10 of which will be of the fast kind. Serveis Municipals de Barcelona has invested €3.8m in this project and a further €2.6m will be spent, bringing the total number of charging points to 100, 40 of which will be fast charging. While the service is presently in its introductory phase and remains free of charge, the service operator expects that it will be payable some time before the 2023 local elections. Still, Collboni emphasised that users will be charged the cost price, as “we pursue social and environmental benefits, not a financial profit”.

The deputy mayor remarked that the City aims to promote a new kind of sustainable mobility “that reduces CO2 emissions from private vehicles, noise and individual transport”. He emphasised that the network will be expanded “on an equitable basis”. “A collective effort is required to shift the city’s motor vehicle fleet to hybrid and electric models. To make them more accessible, the council can help by ensuring that charging stations are equally available in all districts, including those which a private operator would regard as unprofitable”, he explained.

To promote their use and offer all the information required, Endolla Barcelona has launched a new web page that includes an interactive map showing all the charging stations available in real time. Furthermore, an application called Smou will collect all the information to do with this new mobility service. It is expected to become available this autumn.