why the deployment of 100,000 recharging points is still stagnant in France

Setting a quantified goal is a laudable ambition. Holding it is a whole different matter. The case of electric recharging points is an emblematic example of this. In October 2020, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari had promised 100,000 recharging points by the end of 2021 (note that a single terminal has several recharging points). However, it is clear that as of March 31, 2022, the figures for April 30 are not yet known, the bill is not yet in place.

At that time, only 57,732 electric recharging points were open to the public in France, according to the joint barometer of the National Association for the Development of Electric Mobility (Avere) and the Ministry of Ecological Transition from GIREVE data, a platform created in 2013 mainly by Renault, Caisse des Depôts, EDF Enedis.

In other words, the government target has only been reached by 57.7%, despite the different regulations.

> THE FILE. Electric car: research on the “business” of charging stations

Roads and car parks indicate the way

Therefore, all motorway service areas must be equipped with electric recharging points by the end of 2022. For example, the motorway operator Sanef (1.957 km) launched a three-lot tender in late 2021 to deploy some 500 fast recharging points in its 72 rest areas. “We wanted to avoid failures on the same axis and white areas where no candidate would be positioned,” declares, in private, its general manager Arnaud Quémard. Result: One lot was awarded to Fastnet, another to Engie and another to TotalEnergies.

The latter has already inherited at the end of 2020, and this after being fired in mid-2019 from sponsoring the Olympic Games, the concession of recharging points in the capital. In a car park located under the Place de la Madeleine, the energy company has already installed 505 recharging points, ie in more than 50% of the existing spaces. The legal obligation is 5%, however “Our equipment rate is around 20, 30% or even 50%”declares, a The gallery, Ghislaine Geffroy, CEO of Saemes, of which the City Council is the majority shareholder.

Highways, car parks … These infrastructures are the driving force behind the development of charging points because the legislation obliges them to do so. On the other hand, nothing obliges a local body to deploy an offer in its territory. When the elected officials of the agglomerations decide to take the road, they do so for the low-emission-mobility zones (ZFE-m) that prohibit, in the medium term, the circulation of the most polluting vehicles.

The Yespark startup raises 28 million euros and aims for 30,000 points in 2025

The big French cities are also the main target of the young Yespark shoot, which specializes in renting parking spaces. The start-up has just announced a collection of 28 million euros to multiply by … 60 its supply of electric recharging points. It now has 500, will have installed 2,000 by the end of 2022 and promises 30,000 by the end of 2025.

That is, with this influx of fresh money, it is preparing to quadruple, every year, and for four years, its supply of recharging points available. “We know how to orchestrate the deployment,” explain to The gallery Thibault Chary, co-founder of Yespark. “In other words, we have parking spaces in both hands, but also the electricity suppliers, in the same way that we work with the Enedis network manager and the electricity suppliers.”add.

In comparison, Indigo, which claims the site of leader worldwide in parking spaces, claims, from April 27 and in France, 1,050 electric recharging points, before 2,850 by the end of 2022 and 8,000 by the end of 2025. Unlike Yespark, it is not a terminal operator and must partner with installers such as Electra or Engie Solutions, a subsidiary of the eponymous group.

Condominiums are still a white area

This will not prevent white areas, such as single-family homes without garages, private homes or social housing developments. In fact, only 2% of condominiums are equipped with electric recharging points. In fact, the issue of financing can hold back homeowners. Or co-ownership advances installation and compliance bills as well as power consumption notes, before the service provider bills resident users again.

Or a company is positioned to finance the collective installation before the resident-user subscribes to a payment corresponding to their electricity bill. A second option that can facilitate voting at general meetings. Especially because the “Climate and Resilience” law of August 2021 allows for simple majority voting.

Therefore, the road to deployment is likely to be winding in France. As a reminder, at the European level, Brussels announced last July its ambition to deploy 3.5 million recharging points by 2030.

Electric car: the puzzle of charging stations in the “white areas”