The cars of the future

E-mobility is becoming increasingly important at the political, economic and social level. One of the reasons for this is the EU’s new target to achieve a 37.5% cut in CO2 emissions for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 2030. While the number of passenger cars being registered in Austria is generally in decline, the number of registered e-cars is growing substantially. 590,000 e-cars must be on Austria’s roads by 2030 in order to achieve the target set by the EU. As an infrastructure operator, Wien Energie provides the necessary framework conditions to ensure that e-cars are also available on the wider market in Vienna.

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Background information

E-mobility is a key factor in efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector. Governments and business have also recognised the considerable potential of this technology. Aside from reducing CO2 emissions, e-cars have many other positive effects on people and the environment.

Wien Energie’s charging stations only dispense electricity generated from renewable resources. In order to meet the additional levels of electricity consumption that goes hand-in-hand with more electric cars, it is also necessary to expand the production of renewably sourced energy in Austria. In this context, the Association of Austrian Electricity Companies has calculated just how much additional renewable electricity will be needed by 2030 for this to be enough to meet the greater consumption needs. As Austria’s largest energy service provider, Wien Energie is making a major contribution to work to fulfil these expansion plans, investing EUR 500 million in renewable energies over the next five years.

Electric cars can be used in a way that helps the grid, serving as a way to store surplus electricity from fluctuating levels of production, thereby enabling electric cars to make a positive contribution to grid stability to the extent that they are combined with a smart charging infrastructure.

It has been scientifically proven that the carbon footprint of electric cars over their entire life cycle, i.e. from the extraction of raw materials to disposal, is far superior to the one produced by combustion-engine-powered cars, with the electricity mix having a major impact on the carbon footprint of electric vehicles. Around 80 percent of electricity in Austria is generate from renewable sources. According to official calculations made by the Federal Environment Agency, an electric car emits less than half as much in terms of greenhouse gases as a petrol-driven one. These calculations also include battery production. In Europe, where the share of electricity produced from renewable sources averages 40 percent, the carbon footprint of electric cars is also better than that of combustion-engine-powered cars.

E-motors run quietly and do not produce any localised emissions, which means that they do not give off any air pollutants when being used. This means they not only cut traffic-related noise levels, but also pollution caused by particulate matter and nitrogen oxide (NOX), a huge advantage especially in urban areas, improving air quality by a substantial amount. Noise pollution in the city is also significantly reduced. As such, switching to e-mobility has both a positive long-term impact on the climate and on the environment and quality of life of people.

Hydrogen technology is also frequently discussed in the public arena as being an important tool in efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. Experts generally agree here that hydrogen will primarily find use in the heavy goods transport segment as well as in industrial settings. E-mobility is a much better solution for individual transport as the technology has already reached a more advanced stage of maturity, making it both more efficient and cost-effective.

Christian Gratzer

“Overall and including battery production, an electric car powered by green electricity produces 75 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than a diesel car. Only public transport and bicycles perform better.”

Christian Gratzer, Austrian Transport Club (VCÖ) – Mobility with a future

Our demands

Electric cars are an important part of the puzzle when it comes to achieving climate targets. However, in order for e-mobility to become an attractive proposition for the wider market and thereby enabling it to realise its full potential for protecting the environment, the automotive industry and governments still have to take the necessary steps.

Customer surveys clearly show that one of the greatest obstacles when it comes to buying e-cars is the current market situation for electric vehicles. Waiting periods of one to two years in particular for a new vehicle often deter people from opting for such cars. This reason for this is that demand is outstripping supply. In the past, the automotive industry has often cited the lack of a good charging infrastructure as the reason for the low number of electric cars – an infrastructure that is now extensive. This means that action needs to be taken by the automotive industry to devise attractive offers for customers.

Making electric cars attractive to the wider market also means making sure that it is financially worthwhile for the end customer to make the switch. When viewed over their entire useful life, electric cars are already much cheaper than combustion-engine-powered cars, but the high cost of acquisition continue to have a deterring effect. Consequently, Wien Energie calls for a Norwegian-style tax break for electric cars and to keep offering the purchase premium in the future.

Further information

Your contact person

Micha Gruber
Micha Gruber

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E-mobility citizen participation

Wien Energie will build a total of 1,000 charging points by 2020 to ensure that there is a comprehensive network in place for electric cars. In the course of this project, residents of Vienna were given the opportunity to participate in the expansion drive by means of investment packages, thereby playing a role in the mobility revolution.