These measures work together to contribute to the uptake of e-mobility initiatives at local levels. In Crete, for example, the first three publicly-owned EV Charging Points were installed as part of DESTINATIONS; additional charging stations have been planned to be set-up the near future in all sites.
Across Madeira, Las Palmas and Rethymno, there has been a marked increase in the number of EVs. Regional and national funds for EV acquisition were unlocked in Madeira and Rethymno, while new public-private collaborations were established to extend e-charging networks in Las Palmas, Rethymno and Madeira, demonstrating the relevance of these partnerships.
There is a clear appetite for support from local authorities to accelerate the shift towards more sustainable mobility.
Although the results reached by CIVITAS DESTINATIONS are promising, there are still challenges to making EVs a sustainable alternative transport mode in our cities. There are pending issues concerning safety and autonomy, and choosing the most suitable business model is key: the high costs for infrastructure and the need to upgrade local grids should be carefully analysed.
Closer Look: Rethymno’s initiatives towards decarbonising transport
Through DESTINATIONS, Rethymno introduced the first electric vehicles into their public fleets and installed the first public EV Charging Points in the region. The results of their work have been clear: an electric car used by the Municipal Technical Services saves 2 tons of CO2 annually.
A mini e-bus, which is accessible to all, runs a new circular route in Rethymno, connecting the bus station, the city’s beach, and parking facilities. In its first year of operation, the mini bus served over 4000 residents and tourists, and saved 4.5 tons of CO2 and 6.5 MWh of energy.
Rethymno transferred its knowledge and experience to others, thereby inspiring replication in so-called “follower cities”. It also received numerous national and EU-level awards, such as the gold at Best City Awards 2018, and 2nd place in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards 2019.
The Technical University of Crete further promotes clean-fuel concepts by demonstrating how hazardous waste – namely, used cooking oil (UCO) – could be used for local biodiesel production, through a new “smart” UCO collection system. In just a few months, 7000 litters of oil were recycled, corresponding to 10.4 tons of CO2 emissions saved.
Article written and contributed by:
Maria Aryblia, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Lab, Technical University of Crete; and
Eleonora Ercoli, MemEx, Italy
Authors: Maria Aryblia, Eleonora Ercoli