Image by City of Stockholm
Over the next several weeks, we will share stories from CIVITAS projects on-the-ground that implemented innovation uptake and e-mobility solutions as news items. These are also compiled in a publication and infographic.
Read all short stories as they are published at: https://bit.ly/Impact-Stories.
Three cities piloted cutting-edge e-mobility solutions as part of the CIVITAS MEISTER project, which aimed to change the paradigm in the electromobility market to increase use of electric vehicles (EVs). The project worked towards this goal by providing interoperable platforms and services – i.e. platforms that can communicate in a coordinated way – for easy, convenient and barrier-free access to charging, billing and smart grid services for EVs.
To date, the three major barriers for the deployment of EVs in the EU are: the high cost of vehicles; low levels of consumer acceptance; and a lack of recharging stations. MEISTER understands these challenges as reinforcing: as long as EVs are too expensive and charging stations are too scarce, consumer acceptance is bound to stay low. The project worked to break this cycle by working with its pilot cities to design, test and validate new business cases to boost the use of e-mobility.
Stockholm, alongside the other MEISTER cities Berlin and Málaga, believes in actively and efficiently integrating e-mobility in SUMPs and city planning processes, to ensure a consistent focus on e-mobility and cooperation among stakeholders.
Spotlight on Stockholm
Stockholm has a long history of transport decarbonisation, including an ambitious strategy for electrification of services, and an excellent track-record on EV promotion. Stockholm built on this legacy in MEISTER, focusing on using EVs for the delivery of home-care services, and proposing a new e-business model for fleet management.
Both the municipality and the city district departments are responsible for delivering “home-care services” in Stockholm – i.e. assistance to the elderly with daily tasks. Furthermore, home-care services in the city are delivered by a municipal fleet of about 60 vehicles, as well as by private providers, whose fleets include about an additional 230 vehicles. Stockholm has set-out to electrify both the municipal and private providers’ fleets – which poses additional challenges.
Even before MEISTER, Stockholm had already started mapping out data regarding the fleets used for home-care delivery services – looking at metrics such as the number of kilometres driven, and how many vehicles were used in total for service delivery – to evaluate the potential of fleet electrification. This was made possible, in part, by the fact that the city includes a dedicated fleet management team, comprising two full-time fleet managers that assist city departments and city-owned companies by addressing challenges and providing a broad range of advisory services.
Stockholm and MEISTER join forces
Stockholm selected five city districts as the focus of its MEISTER pilots – namely: Bromma, Skärholmen, Spånga-Tensta, Södermalm, and Älvsjö – in which it rolled-out EVs for home-care services. Two of these districts, Bromma and Spånga-Tensta, were also the focus of in-depth measure evaluation. These districts face a common and challenging hurdle: in both areas, home-care services are delivered in three shifts daily, leaving very little time for EV charging.
The pilot included a series of actions: the city’s fleet managers consulted with the city district departments, conventional vehicles were replaced step-by-step with EVs, and charging infrastructure was installed in parking facilities.
Through MEISTER, the city found the assistance it needed to conduct meaningful measure evaluation, looking at different parameters with a focus on user experiences and fleet managers’ perspectives gained by driving, charging and handling the vehicles.
A survey of fleet managers and staff using the EVs, alongside detailed vehicle logbooks, formed the backbone of pilot evaluation. The results were exciting: when asked to compare EVs to conventional vehicles, 85% of respondents recommended EVs for both professional and private use. Furthermore, 80% of the respondents drove the test EVs daily and charged them once per day, mostly after the end of their shifts, meaning that there was no need to use public charging or to disrupt their schedules. They rated the EVs as easy to drive, silent and comfortable. The majority of the respondents also stated that EVs would not be more expensive, and saw it as a time-saving advantage that EVs can be “re-fuelled” while parked in their ordinary parking spot.
These promising results enabled Stockholm to move forward with introducing environmental requirements for the procurement of private home-care providers. Thanks to the evaluation results, the city was able to put forth a convincing argument that the delivery of services by EVs can also be viable for private providers. As a result, since January 2022, all vehicles used by private providers for the delivery of home-care services need to meet the “Climate Bonus” requirement, which includes criteria related to vehicle age, fuel type, and wheels.
Convincing procurers that fuel type is a reasonable procurement requirement proved to be one of the main challenges facing during implementation. Additionally, getting home-care staff to respond to surveys related to the pilot proved challenging.
What’s more, the pilot took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, which particularly affected the elderly (receiving home-care services). As a result, fleet electrification, at times, had to come as secondary to ensuring (COVID) safety for elderly care recipients. This led to a number of sub-tasks being delayed. Exhibitions, where it would have been possible to test EVs and make direct contact with providers, were not possible, leading much communication to be moved online and into a webinar format. However, the pilot was, nonetheless, able to run without major compromises and with valuable results.
The delivery of home-care services in Stockholm can now be done using EVs, thanks to the introduction (via MEISTER) of 19 EVs and 19 charging points in parking facilities across several Stockholm city districts – the EVs were delivered by the end of December 2021 in the districts of Bromma (11), Skärholmen (1), Spånga-Tensta (2) and Älvsjö (5). Charging infrastructure was installed at the vehicles’ ordinary parking spaces prior to vehicle delivery, and all of the charging points encompass normal (AC) chargers.
Furthermore, the introduction of environmental criteria in procuring private home-care providers will have long-lasting impacts, increasing the use of EVs in private providers’ fleets.
Thanks to the project, the city has also produced advice, criteria and evaluation data that can help other cities make informed choices about how to use e-mobility to deliver vital public services.
A major driver of this work – and a key to Stockholm’s success – has been a clear political vision for large scale electrification of the transport sector in Stockholm. This clear vision, MEISTER’s results, and support from fleet managers within the city organisation, made it possible to pass the city council decision that set environmental criteria in procurement of private home-care service providers.
MEISTER project overview: https://civitas.eu/sites/default/files/MEISTER_Project_Overview_website…
MEISTER project brochure: https://meisterproject.eu/brochure/
Topic Guide on Electrification: Planning for electric road transport in the SUMP context: https://www.eltis.org/sites/default/files/electrification_planning_for_…
CIVITAS INSIGHT E-mobility: Make it happen through SUMPs! https://meisterproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/civitas_insight_19…
Local contributions from Maria-Angeliki Evliati, Project Manager, Environment and Health Department, Clean Vehicles in Stockholm.
Authors: TRT TRASPORTI E TERRITORIO, ICLEI Europe