The Demo-EV Project

Project objectives

The main objective of this project is to introduce BEVs in the Maltese Islands while demonstrating and testing their feasibility in the Maltese urban and topographic context as well as demonstrating a solution towards meeting Malta’s environmental targets.

The Demo-EV project will:

  • Demonstrate how to attain Malta’s targets under the Climate Change and Energy Package;
  • Implement measures included in the Malta National Air Quality Plan;
  • Introduce EV charging infrastructure.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Study whether carbon neutrality can be achieved by recharging full electric vehicles in buildings where photovoltaic systems are installed;
  2. Evaluate the actual energy efficiency of BEVs;
  3. Inform potential users on full electric vehicles and campaign towards the substitution of internal combustion engine vehicles with BEVs;
  4. Study the environmental and economic efficiency of different ways of recharging BEVs;
  5. Laying the foundations for a national car-charging infrastructure.

Project Implementation

This project will contribute towards these objectives by implementing a pilot project that has been running from September 2011 to December 2014. Twenty-four full electric vehicles varying from light goods vans to passenger vehicles of different classes have been purchased and distributed among volunteers ranging from private households, commercial delivery companies and government entities. The vehicles will be tried and tested by private citizens and companies who will use these BEVs as their primary household/business car, and thus test the actual feasibility of the vehicles when applied in the day-to-day household/ commercial needs.

In this way, therefore, the vehicles will be tested in the context in which they are meant to be used and the project will be able to properly assess the vehicles’ energy-efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the Maltese context while also assessing different ways of re-charging the vehicles. This will be done from single-phase household electrical supply; three-phase public charging points connected to the national grid; household/business electrical supply whereby photovoltaic panels are installed at the volunteers households/business establishments.

Project actions

  • Deployment of 24 BEVs ranging from light goods vans to passenger cars of different classes
  • Installation of 90 charging points in Malta and in Gozo

The charging points are being installed in different localities across Malta and Gozo targeting suitable public parking areas, and other easily accessible locations in urban cores taking into consideration a wide geographical distribution to cover the entire Maltese Islands. The pillars will be connected to the grid with a three-phase power supply to minimize the time it takes to charge the vehicle from eight hours down to four hours.

The charging points will be made available to the public and will be inter-connected and remotely managed. Therefore a system of pre-booking of any single charging point will be available.

  • Pilot and demonstration period to test Full Electric Vehicles’ feasibility and adaptability within local topographic and specific climatic conditions

Volunteers will use the cars for their normal day-to-day use either as part of their household needs, business and/or administrative operations or commercial activities depending on the type of the participating volunteer. Volunteers will be rotated periodically throughout the pilot project to maximize the number of vehicle users. The volunteers are critical in the demonstration element of this project – they are the ones who will actually be testing the vehicles. From preliminary findings results are encouraging.

  • Information Campaign – dissemination of results nationwide

An important element of this project is the information and education campaign which will be carried out while the vehicles will be rolled out during the demonstration period. Here, the results gathered during the demonstration – from the volunteers’ surveys and data gathered from the vehicles will be disseminated as widely as possible to the target audience and stakeholders. The marketing tools chosen for the campaign are the creation of a specific project website and other websites, TV commercials, short documentary features, printed media, press conferences and press releases as well as billboards. The intensive campaign will start to take place from the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014.

Expected Results

Since this project is essentially a field test, the results will be gathered through a series of data gathering exercises throughout the demonstration period.

Once the vehicles are deployed, the users will note their daily driving habits, which are being assumed to be equal to those made with a conventional vehicle. Data recording from electricity metres and charging points used to charge the vehicles will be recorded. Comparative analysis of this data could then start.

This will include:

  1. ​Energy Efficiency (comparative data tank-to-wheel of both conventional vehicles compared to BEVs);
  2. Comparative analysis between unit cost of electricity against normal carbon based fuel (tank to wheel);
  3. Comparative analysis of charging data between PV installed infrastructure vs conventional car charging in the absence of PV infrastructure;
  4. Carbon savings from BEV charging through the electricity grid;
  5. Carbon savings from BEV charging where photovoltaic infrastructure is present.