Portugal will soon be fully covered by electric car charging stations

Magnum Cap 22 kW EVSE part of the MOBI.E charging network at Tábua, Portugal

In 2009, the public Portuguese electric vehicle charging network MOBI.E was inaugurated. It was a top priority of the at the time Portuguese Prime Minister, José Sócrates of the Socialist Party (PS). Portugal wanted to lead the electric car revolution.

Suddenly all changed in 2011, in part because of the International Debt Crisis, but also by his own mistakes, José Sócrates lost the elections and Pedro Passos Coelho of the right-wing party (PSD) was elected Prime Minister.

Passos Coelho represented the right-wing inside an already right-wing party and as soon as he was elected he forgot all of his campaign promises. The income inequality gap rose noticeably, unemployment and taxes also reached alarming levels.

Furthermore, not only the Environment hasn’t a priority, the electric car was even despised – since it was regarded as a personal project of the former Prime Minister, it had to be forgotten. Then in late 2011 Nissan dropped the plans to build a battery plant in Portugal, which was expected to start production in 2012. It was the end of a dream.

During the four years of the right-wing government – as expected -, rich got richer, poor got poorer. German ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) luxury car sales were at record levels and the Portuguese Government even awarded Audi A4 and A6 cars in some crazy fiscal lottery.

Ultimately the charging network was abandoned and was left without maintenance, most EVSEs (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) were vandalized and didn’t work. It wasn’t easy to have an electric car in Portugal.

 

Fortunately, in 2015 with new elections, António Costa from the Socialist Party (PS) formed a progressive alliance with the Communist Party (PCP), Anti-capitalist Left Bloc (Bloco de Esquerda) and the Greens (Partido Ecologista “Os Verdes”) and was nominated Prime Minister.

António Costa’s first priorities were social, he cut taxes for low-income families, raised minimum wage, reduced unemployment and the income inequality. This progressive alliance financed all these social measures mostly by increasing taxes for ICE cars and fossil fuels. The right-wing parties were mad and constantly tried to demonstrate that these measures were bad for everyone. However, the left government’s popularity is extremely high and keeps increasing, while the opposition is desperate – and even controlling the mainstream media doesn’t help much -, since the two right-wing parties’ popularity is at record low.

Moving forward…

Current Prime Minister, António Costa was always a vocal supporter of electric cars that are seen as essential to reduce external dependence on foreign oil. Now that more urgent social problems are solved, repairing and upgrading the charging network is a priority.

 

The MOBI.E’s charging network is still very concentrated in Portugal’s biggest cities, Lisbon and Porto, furthermore it is still composed mainly by slow 3,68 kW EVSEs. The 3,68 kW EVSEs made sense in 2009, – when only the Nissan Leaf MK1 and Mitsubishi i-MiEV could be ordered – but not in 2017. The more modern 22 kW EVSEs exist but are very scarse, since they were mainly installed for the Renault Zoe presentation to European journalists.

Anyways, starting from August, the 100 most used EVSEs will be replaced by new 22 kW EVSEs and each will have two charging type 2 sockets, enabling the simultaneous charge of two electric cars.

Furthermore, 202 new 22 kW EVSEs (404 type 2 sockets) will be installed, one for each municipality where the charging network isn’t present yet. When this expansion is completed the MOBI.E charging network will be present in the whole country, within all of its 308 municipalities – 278 in mainland Portugal and 30 in the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.

Before the year’s end MOBI.E plans to have 1.700 type 2 sockets and 50 DC fast chargers available across this small country. The DC fast chargers will mostly be present at highway service stations.

An electric car with a 22 kW internal charger, such as the Renault Zoe, will benefit greatly from these improvements. I really hope that Nissan present us the second generation Leaf in Europe with this kind of charger.

 

How is the charging network of your country developing? Please comment below.

 

 

More info:

https://www.mobie.pt/welcome

https://www.mobie.pt/map

https://www.mobie.pt/news/mobie-lanca-concurso-publico-internacional

https://www.publico.pt/2017/01/17/economia/noticia/portugal-deve-ultrapassar-as-5000-viaturas-electricas-este-ano-1758642

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Poland – much larger state than Portugal, 37 million citizens, approximately 4 no. Public Chargers overall. During 2008 and 2014 Poland was one of the few states in EU which avoided recession. No more comments.

    1. That’s sad, especially since LG Chem is building its battery cell plant in there.

  2. We need fast charging stations in Portugal. So far only rethoric… Over 70% of charging stations in Portugal are broken as you are aware Pedro.

    1. Yes, there is still a lot work to be done.

      But at least it’s being done now, even if it isn’t as fast as we wanted.

      1. Well basically all they are doing is stealing …

        All money invested in infrastructure is from the carbon fund … yet they are going to start to charge at over 40 cents a kWh from August onwards without increasing network and way before the 50 promised fast charging stations are on the field.

        The best of all is that the general public applauds as they think EV drivers are just leeches that take advantage of taxes and lower charge rates compared to ice cars.

  3. In Spain, very few charging points, especially in public areas. Most charging point are in commercial areas (Malls, Ikea, Carrefour,…) and most of them are simply outlets and they need a portable wallbox to be used.

    So far, I have used once a public charging point, located in a gas station, since I own my Zoe ZE40 (4 months). Charger had 43 kW, but my car only charges at 22 kW. Talking with the gas station staff, the charger is rarely used and most of the time for cars with out fast charging capabilities. I charged 43 kWh (my battery has 41 kWh but there are inefficiencies in charging) and I was billed around 18€. The staff calculated the price twice because they used to charge 2€ to 3€ to most customers. The charging time was around 2h45. It was during a 400 km trip (200 km each way) by highway.

    If you use your car for daily commuting, home charging is the best and only needed option. For occasional short trips (that is at the car range distance), semi-fast charging (100 to 200 km of range for every hour of charging, 22 kW to 43 kW) is enough. For serious long range trip, you need to charge at least at 200 km of highway range in 30 minutes, which is equivalent to a power of 80 kW.

    1. In Portugal we’re also seeing some development of the charging network by private entities in commercial areas. IKEA is the best example so far, with many EVSEs (7 and 22 kW) with type 2 sockets.

      I think we’ll see this model spreading in the next years. Where commercial areas start to invest in renewable energy and offer free level 2 charging for their clients.

    1. I forgot to mention that Portugal still doesn’t have Tesla Superchargers. However it will soon get 3, just like Slovenia.

  4. Fast charging infrastructure is probably the most important, and prime locations for these DCFC are at highway service plazas. The vast majority of charging that long range EVs do is at home, and almost ALL public charging to extend range is at DCFC, (or HPFC 150-350 kW)

    But reliability is the key. If it’s not possible to have two fast chargers at a highway stop (which is the case is most places now in 2017 because there aren’t many EVs), then at least there should be a Level 2 charger as an emergency backup. This is just a start. What really needs to happen is for charging infrastructure operators to start planning how and where they will install multi stall 150 kW ChargePoint Express Plus fast charger style setups by next Fall. In just 12 months or so from now those type of multi stall setups are going to be the only worthwhile infrastructure for long range EVs. Otherwise it’s just 1 50 kW DCFC for longer range EVs… slow, unreliable, and outdated.
    See my article from last year in this:

    http://insideevs.com/op-ed-next-gen-fast-charge-networks/

  5. Thanks for the article, for years i pondered to write something similar, but some reason (laziness) never did.

    Adding to this short story of EVs in Portugal, i should say that the Mobi.e concept was and is years ahead of what other countries have, unfortunately, for reasons above mentioned, it was never fully implemented and we lost an opportunity to be in the lead of the ev revolution.

  6. Please have a look at:
    https://fastned.nl/en/
    fast charge your car with solar energy
    if it works in the Netherlands it should certainly work in Portugal with so much more sun!

  7. The 50 dc chargers, that’s what’s interesting! As long as they are placed smart all over the country it will make a huge difference. The slow chargers are obsolete as everybody I know have charging at home.

  8. Your forgot the tax on the plastic bags. But here it was a “failure” and that’s good. Basically the portuguese government created a tax on plastig bags (the ones you usually get for free on supermatkets), hoping to make a profit, but there was a quick change of mindset and people simply stoped using this plastic bags. Now almost everybody takes their reusable bag when shoping.
    This is an example where taxes were well created to eliminate a bad behaviour!

  9. TOTAL CRAP !!!
    This pedro lima is a moron that can’t see past is political ideologies !!
    TOTAL LIES ! THE MOBI.E NETWORK IS IN WORST STATE TODAY THEN IT WAS 3 YEAR AGO !

    1. Your comment is offensive, not for me but for yourself, since it demonstrates your lack of arguments and intelligence.

      For this reason I won’t even delete it. It just shows how desperate is the right wing in Portugal. Keep the ad hominem fallacies coming! Be bold, add more logical fallacies in your comments, ad hominem seems to be your expertise but add some straw man please, just for fun…

  10. Dear Sir,
    I wont be as harsh as the latest comentator… but It is dificult to deny what seems to be clear pro-current-government stance on your behalf.
    A regular reader, like me, would expect to learn about the developments of the technology, rather then reading what borders a political manifesto. Maybe you can fool foreign readers, but domestic readers in Portugal, will remember that was the Socialist government – under Mr Pinto de Sousa, and in which the current PM served – that steared the country to the brink of disaster with a huge debt crisis cause, in part (the biggest part), by their spending-as-if-there-was-no-tomorrow!
    Stick to talking tech, and stay away from politics. The 2 big parties – and indispensable parties – of our democracy are both to blame for years of wrong priorities and bad governance… Do not pretend that one is Great and the other one is rubish… that is not the way thigs are/were.
    Stick to tech…

    1. Hi Alex.

      Why should I “stay away from politics” when everything we do as a society is politics?! Furthermore, the reasons why I support EVs and created this blog are politics:

      Better environment for all, not only the rich that can escape from the more polluted areas;
      Stop financing wars for oil – where the rich send the poor to fight other poor;
      Stop depending on the monopoly of a scarce resource that only benefits the elites;
      Stop human-made climate change;
      And the list goes on…

      Especially in this article politics can’t be ignored, since it was a politic decision that created MOBI.E and later another politic decision let it die.

      The elites say that we shouldn’t discuss politics, so we remain ignorant and they can make decisions for us. We should be content talking about football, reality-shows or anything other than politics. This is why we don’t know how to make logical arguments when we decide to talk about politics, we start insulting each other every time we are confronted with different points of view.

      As a side note, I never voted in the Socialist Party and most of the time I see it as bad as PSD and CDS (I call the three parties the “arch of corruption”), however it doesn’t prevent me to recognize when there are positive things. Every society should have the goal of diminish social inequalities, any political party that has some kind of success in this regard gets my support.

      You’re always welcome to express your point of view, especially if it’s different from mine. Just use logic and we can both learn from it.

  11. As usual most charging points will be in cities , so what will happen when people go into the countryside , and what will people living outside cities do , as in the future Europe wants to ban petrol/Diesel , even hybrid cars . Who will pay the the installations necessary in houses , Portuguese are poor .
    The big problem will be is the government and companies capable of maintaining the installations even in the countryside , and where will all the training for mechanics come from to repair these cars , and how will poor Portuguese people ( the majority) be able to afford electric vehicles .

    1. The countryside will also have many charging stations since they are much cheaper to install and operate than gasoline stations.

      However, electric cars aren’t the ultimate solution for transportation and pollution problems. Private transportation should be the exception rather than the rule. We need good and sustainable public transportation for everybody.

      “An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport.” Enrique Peñalosa, former Mayor of Bogota

  12. Pedro Lima…What I forgot to say:

    For instance I forgot to say that the prime minister that launch this MOBI.E is acused of 37 crimes, including extursion, curroption and mob association, with the particularity of beeing a Socialist Party elected prime-minister and to have as minister that actual PM, and at least the main responsible to put Portugal in Bankropt in 2011, when the dream over.
    I also forget to metion that this facts where the the main cause to the following gorvernement as no breathing space
    to do almost nothing, once is governnance was over the orders of a Troyka.
    I also forgot to reminde myself that despite my biased opinions, I know perfectly that MOBI.E is not so good as it is for my country, moreover, I question the need for increased aid for an already over-established program, and the reason is only one,…that I also forgot to tell you in my article, is that my montlhy incomes came from this program.

    Ignore from me, if I say that all this is a lie. It is true and I know.

    1. You made so many wrong assumptions, but since you weren’t rude I’m going to reply you.

      First: I’m not a PS supporter – never was and never will be. In my view PS is a center party that can rule with the support of right or left-wing parties whenever it suits it to do.

      Second: I never liked the former PM José Sócrates, but that doesn’t prevent me to recognize that the beginning and end of MOBI.E were political decisions. Furthermore, I completely agree that the PS government was bad, but the PSD-CDS government that came after was even worse.

      Third: you forgot to say that José Sócrates learned politics in the right-wing JSD youth and governed with the support of the right-wing party PSD that approved the PECs, because they agreed on austerity measures.

      Fourth: it’s was the left-wing party that I support (BE) that presented a censure motion in the parliament that called for new elections. Francisco Louçã from BE was the most vigor political opponent to Sócrates.

      Fifth: unlike BE, PSD agreed with new elections, not to cut austerity politics, but to reinforce them. When PSD won the election it soon forgot its electoral promises and increased taxes even more – increasing social inequality.

      Sixth: I really don’t understand why you say that MOBI.E pays me. I have nothing to do with it. My academic background is Sociology and I like to understand social changes (especially the impact of political decisions and technology adoption).

      I could go on, but I think it’s enough. From your statements I could also make some assumptions about you, since you fit the social profile of an angry right-winger living in the north of the country that thinks that southerners are evil communists eager to burn your private propriety and coming for your tooth brush…

      By the way, you can use a more creative nickname like your real name, you don’t have to be afraid to share your thoughts in here. You’re always welcome, even when we disagree.

  13. Keep it up!!!Thanks for this information.

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