The Government-led push towards a switch to electric vehicles is one born out of both necessity to counteract climate change, but also because it will lead to cleaner air, making the country a healthier place to live. A number of measures are being taken to help this push gain traction, not least with financial incentives, but also with added infrastructure as well as a new app to help EV owners make use of the newly-installed charging pillars around Malta and Gozo.
Pillars of society
Until the end of the year, 130 new charging pillars will be installed, with each pillar providing two charging outlets for EV use. This means that 260 new charging points will be made available around the island, bringing the total number of points to 362. This comes on the back of a €3 million investment, but there’s far more to it than simply installing these charging pillars.
The investment also covers the launch of a new website and the Charge My Ride mobile phone app, and over the next three years, Malta and Gozo will have a total of up to 1,200 charging points. Having these measures can only help with encouraging people to switch to electric vehicles, a move of vital importance since EVs have no tailpipe emissions, unlike conventional vehicles with petrol or diesel engines.
In the future, even private entities will be able to provide and support the installation of charging pillars, something that local experts have been calling for. And if the promise of a cleaner environment is not enough to convince people to make the switch, there are plenty of financial motives to consider too. Apart from the €12,000 grant when buying a new EV, the difference in refuelling (or recharging in the EV’s case) amounts to approximately €800 a year in favour of going electric (when driving an average of 50km a day).
Providing digital support
As mentioned, part of the investment led to the building of a dedicated app. It’s a one-touch system that helps you make use of the public charging stations dotted around the island. You can use it to locate the closest charging pillar in your location that’s not in use, helping you find the ideal charging point whether you’re on the go or before you leave your location.
Using the app is easy; after downloading via Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store, you sign up with your e-mail, and once you’ve followed the ensuing prompts provided by the app, you just need to fill out your card details. From there, you can head to the charging pillar of your choice. Once at the location, simply scan the QR code on the pillar, connect the cable, select the plug to your preference, and your vehicle will start juicing up!
The website is also a centre point for any information required, whether that’s for tariffs (which are amongst the lowest in Europe), charger types (medium or fast-charging AC types) latest news and updates as well as any questions you might have.
Making it easier to reach overall goals
The main goal is to reach a total of 65,000 electric vehicles on local roads, with the number standing at around 5,000, including both electric cars and motorbikes. It’s also part of the overarching goal of decarbonisation by 2030. So apart from the monetary gains to be made, these are all moves to secure a greener future for the country.