Electric vehicles: Enedis invites itself into condominiums

NEWS – Pending publication, a decree, which aims to accelerate the deployment of charging stations in condominiums by Enedis, is undermining the activity of start-ups specializing in this field. They fear unfair competition financed in part by the taxpayer.

Despite the right to plug, implemented in 2011, a right which authorizes all residents of condominiums to request the installation, at their expense, of a plug to charge an electric car, the deployment of charging solutions in collective residences drags. A shame, when we know that the use of the electric car is strongly encouraged in large cities. To remedy this situation, the State wishes to move up a gear. A decree, which is expected to be published in the coming weeks, will allow the incumbent electricity operator, Enedis, to include the costs of studies and connection in the electricity transmission tariff (Turpe).

Linky counters

This tariff for using the public electricity network, which for individuals represents approximately 30% of the electricity bill, thus enables Enedis to cover the costs of operating, developing and maintaining the public network.

This decree is strongly challenged by the members of the French Association of charging operators. Created last November, Afor brings together the main private players in electric car charging. It underlines the significant cost for the taxpayer that such a measure would represent. “The decree provides that, in a collective residence, the connection of the horizontal column, which supplies the parking spaces, as opposed to the vertical column which supplies electricity to the apartments, will be the responsibility of all French people”, reproaches Olivier Toggenburger, co-founder of Park’n Plug and member of Afor. Or at least in part. “The decree indicates that, within the framework of the horizontal column, a percentage of the connection costs will be pre-financed by Enedis, which will have the role of installing a Linky meter at each place connected. The user will then have to repay 60% of the connection, the rest being already covered by the Turpe. A cost estimated between 1.5 and 2.4 billion euros, while the solutions offered by private companies do not cost a penny of public money”, specifies Nicolas Banchet, co-founder of ZePlug and also member of the group. And to continue: “We pool the recharge by connecting the places from a single dedicated meter. The connection work is carried out at our expense and we are remunerated through subscriptions, charging management and connected services.” Another grievance of Afor: the decree plans to impose a ceiling price for connections. For the moment, this price has not yet been decided, but the operators fear unfair competition due to prices drawn down in order to seduce cautious condominiums.

Lack of information

Whether the charging solutions are managed by a private operator or by a public actor, it is urgent for the French Electricity Union (UFE) to look into the problem. “85% of top-ups are done at home. With the right to take, France was one of the first European countries to benefit from very favorable regulations for this type of housing, but in reality, it is more complicated”, recalls Mathias Laffont, director use and territories at the UFE “Even if the trustees are more and more aware of this subject, many condominiums have neither the information nor the budgets to start connection work”, notes Mathilde Charmet-Ingold, specialist lawyer in energy law and real estate law. “There are 500,000 condominiums in France, of which 150,000 have parking,” recalls Nicolas Banchet. The cost of the connection to equip 20 to 30% of the parking spaces is estimated, depending on the size of the work, at between 20,000 and 40,000 €, which gives an overall market of between 3 and 6 billion euros.

For small condominiums

“The market is very important,” emphasizes Mathias Laffont. The latter also believes that private players and Enedis are not competitors but complementary. “The needs are so great that there really is room for everyone,” he continues. The co-owner remains free to choose his type of terminal and his electricity supplier. In addition, private players tend to favor the most profitable condominiums.” Namely large units of more than a hundred inhabitants. An observation that Nicolas Banchet does not refute. For him, the State should in particular focus its efforts on condominiums with outdoor car parks, which represent more than half of the collective housing stock and not spend public money on operations that allow private actors to operate. “Generally, these are condominiums of variable size installed in less dense areas, with few means, notes Nicolas Banchet. The installation of the terminals is more expensive here, because it is necessary to plan civil engineering works, operations more expensive than to run cables in an underground car park. Beyond the problems of competition, he especially regrets the unforeseen consequences of such a decree. “Whole projects are frozen, pushed back to next year, because the trustees are waiting for its application,” he laments.

A gigantic market

Should we then be worried about an increase in the electricity bill for all French people? The State is already putting its hand in the pocket to help the condominiums to equip themselves with terminals. “At the start of the year, he created an organization called Logivolt Territoires, a subsidiary of the Caisse des dépôts, which supports in the form of a loan for fifteen years, the costs of studies and connection in condominiums”, presents Mathias Laffont. . Moreover, some private operators work with this organization since one of its missions is to put in contact between condominiums and charging players. Regarding the horizontal column specifically, Mathias Laffont wants to be reassuring. “The main items of expenditure for Enedis are the modernization of the network and the connection of the global network to new energies, he recalls. The deployment of the horizontal columns will be a drop in the bucket.” Especially since some specialists in the subject are skeptical about Enedis’ ability to install all the condominium car parks in France. The market therefore remains very open, with significant growth potential. Six to eight thousand terminals are indeed installed in joint ownership against approximately one hundred thousand in individual housing. –



Oil tankers get electric

NEWS – Service stations are starting to equip themselves with charging stations to accommodate electric vehicles.

Regarding the establishment of infrastructure in the public domain, mass distribution (Leclerc promises 10,000 charging points by 2022, Lidl, 1,100 by the end of 2021, the Casino group, 1,500, Système U, 2000) is no longer alone. Large energy companies (EDF is the leader with 10,000 operational terminals in France), especially oil companies, are starting to take an interest in it, realizing the interest of this market (2,000 terminals accessible to the public at service stations). While it has already deployed charging stations on the motorway (20 charging stations today), the Total group is making an impact by converting its Paris-La Défense station into a 100% electric hub.

A first in France, and what’s more, in the city. “This makes sense in this business district because a significant traffic of VTC, taxis and many employees already frequented the old station. Above all, we are going to respond to a demand which will rapidly increase ”, says a spokesperson for the tanker. Operational at the end of June, this station will have 3 fast charging stations (22 kW and 50 kW) as well as 6 other ultra-fast (175 kW). But the French company reassures us, “Not all stations will switch to 100% electric. Our intention is to offer 300 ultra-fast charging stations in Europe by 2022 and, in parallel, to deploy 100 fully electric stations near major axes (50 to 175 kW) in France by 2025 ”. Objectif-deja-hors-de-portee-20210518

For the time being, Total favors equipping large metropolitan areas. It has put in place the means to win public tenders, and obtain concessions in London, Amsterdam and also Paris, where it took over the old Autolib ‘network. “We will have 2,300 terminals from 7 kW to 22 kW by the end of 2021 and we are planning around ten 100% electric hubs, or around 100 terminals, between 2022 and 2024.” A nice stroke because the call for tenders remains exclusive for about fifteen years, not to mention the tailor-made rates taking into account the parking and recharging service pack in disputed on-street parking areas.

Global strategy

In the race for the most profitable spaces, Shell has nevertheless just connected its socket before Total with the first European electrical hub installed under the Paris town hall. Access to its 8 chargers of 22 kW and 50 kW is however only authorized for professional vehicles (taxis, VTC, shared company vehicles).

“This first hub will be followed by a second at the end of 2021, near Paris-Roissy airport”, confides Alexis Licha, Shell manager for energy transition and mobility. “These two projects are part of our overall strategy towards energy transformation and are added to the 1,000 public terminals distributed in our 430 stations, in addition to the 20,000 in France via the badge of our subsidiary NewMotion (185,000 in Europe) . The recent acquisition of Ubitricity will also allow us to deploy charging points on existing street furniture ”, he continues. And to conclude: “Of course, if electrical energy tends to prevail, we will still be able to offer our customers a multi-energy offer for a good ten years.” This is news that will reassure motorists who are not yet ready to let go of their thermal car.