The PORT-PVEV project brought together Transport Malta, the Malta Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure, the Port Authority of Catania and the Province of Caltanissetta who implemented the project between 2012 and 2015 with the assistance of an 85% co-financing rate supplied through the OP Italy-Malta 2007-2013.

Project Objectives

The main objective of PORT-PVEV was to demonstrate how ports and port areas, and the operations therein, can reduce their carbon emissions with the final aim of contributing towards the decoupling of the dependence of economic growth from non-renewable sources of energy.

Specific Interventions

A twelve-month demonstration period took place as part of this project, during which the Partners demonstrated, tested and evaluated:

  • The deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) in Catania, Gela and Valletta harbour areas to partly substitute conventional vehicles used to service port operations and test the feasibility of said vehicles as a substitute of combustion engine vehicles.

Transport Malta (TM) deployed
13 full electric vehicles (EVs) including 2 light goods vans, 4 crew vans, 3 passenger cars and 4 quadricycles.  The EVs were introduced as part of TM’s general fleet and were used in day-to-day duties as part of the Authority’s operations. 

The Province of Caltanissetta deployed five full electric vehicles in Gela for use of by the Municipality.  The vehicles vary between panel vans and passenger vehicles.   The Port Authority of Catania, on the other hand, deployed one vehicle for use by the port authority. 

  • ​​​​Production of solar energy to partly power port administration buildings and study the extent to which renewable energy produced on site can contribute towards the building’s carbon footprint reduction.
To test this, a Photovoltaic Plant was installed on the roof of the Malta Transport Centre building covering a surface area of 1,290 sq/m, producing 189,000 kWh/annum.  The plant offsets 10% of the building’s energy consumption.

Throughout the pilot the vehicles deployed in Malta travelled approximately 85,000 km.  To support this mileage, 97,000 kWh of electricity were needed.  This represents 51% of the solar power produced by the on-site plant; meaning that if another 11 full electric vehicles are deployed as part of the TM fleet, the electricity required by the full 24-vehicle fleet would be completely supported by the solar power produced on site.  Put in other words, the PV plant, on an annual basis, offers the potential for carbon neutral transport on 24 full electric vehicles.  
  • ​​Charging infrastructure was installed at all partner port areas to support the electric vehicles deployed including the first 3-point fast charging pillar at the Malta Transport Centre which charges 80% of an EV battery in less than 30 mins. 
  • Installation and operation of solar car charging stations in public car parks in Maltese port areas to test and demonstrate the extent to which direct sun-to-car power can be produced; and therefore the provision of carbon neutral transport for the general public.  
This was tested through the installation of 3 solar car charging stations in Malta; particularly, at Ċirkewwa Ferry Terminal, Ta’Xbiex Marina and Deep Water Quay Car Park in Marsa. 

Each steel structure constitutes of a PV array installed on top of the station, producing 17,000 kWh per annum and which is stored in a 24 kWh Lithium-ion battery also found on site.   Two double-point charging pillars are found at each site; one connected directly to the grid, while the other connected to both the grid and the on-site battery.  If while an EV is charging the power in the on-site battery is depleted, the system shifts automatically to the grid, and electricity continues to be extracted from the grid seamlessly.  Through the pilot it was concluded that each point can produce up to 1.5 charging events per day using solar power, resulting in over 3000 charging events per year using solely solar power. 
  • ​​Off grid electric bike charging stations have also been installed in Catania.  Power for the e-bike charging is extracted directly from the PV array at each site.  The three sites are also used to provide housing for 20 e-bikes introduced in the port area and made available to the public for improved accessibility within and around the city.  Each station has been installed close to a public transport hub in order to also encourage intermodality of transport modes.
Five e-bikes have also been deployed in Gela, for added accessibility to residents and tourists in the port area.
  • ​​The project did not stop at road transport, however. It also studied the feasibility of Cold Ironing, a system by which grid-connected infrastructure is used to power berthed vessels using electricity from the national grid instead of the on-board high polluting heavy fuel oil. This would not only improve air quality within the port areas but also vastly reduce noise generated by ship engines.
A full feasibility study has been compiled through the project studying the feasibility of installing the infrastructure at the Valletta Grand Harbour.  
  • ​​Local green plans for ports and port areas have been compiled for Catania and Gela to suggest future policies for the implementation of green energy actions to further decarbonise port areas in each of the partner ports as a second stage to this project. The suggested actions will serve as a continuation to the results achieved in this project.


Emissions Savings

Over 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been saved as a result of the interventions by the PORT-PVEV in the partner port areas.

Intervention ​CO2 tonnes saved per annum
​Malta Transport Centre PV Plant ​165
​13-vehicle fleet deployed in Malt​a ​20.99
​3 Solar Car Charging Station ​95
​Electric Vehicles Deployed in Gela ​17
Carbon dioxide is not the only emissions produced by road transport; Nitrogen Oxides and Particulate Matter are other harmful pollutants resulting from road transport.  In this regard, based on the 13 full electric vehicles deployed by Transport Malta, the following emissions have been saved:

Pollutant​​ Tonnes saved per annum
​Particulate Matter ​4
Nitrogen Oxides ​51

Production of Renewable Energy

Through interventions done as part of the project, an annual average total of 260,735kWh is being generated through renewable energy produced by Photovoltaic Installations deployed in Malta and Sicily.

Electric Vehicles Data

Costs pe​r kilometre 
​Electric Vehicles​​ Petrol Vehicles​ Diesel Vehicles​​
​Electricity consumption per km travelled by an EV: 0.25 kWh/km
Petrol consumption: 7 litres / 100km 
​Diesel consumption: 5.1 litres / 100km
​Cost per km: € 0.04 ​Cost per km: € 0.09 ​Cost per km: € 0.07

Annual Cost of Operation
Electric Vehicles Petrol Vehicles
Annual average fuel cost: € 263.08 ​Annual average fuel cost: € 591.93
​Annual average maintenance cost: € 69.15 ​Annual average maintenace cost: € 1,009.03
​Annual average licence fees: € 10.00 ​Annual average licence fees: € 217.03
Total: € 342.23 Total: € 1,817.09
​ ​Savings: € 1,474.86/ annum​

Battery Autonomy

Based on the readings taken from the electric vehicles deployed in Malta with a battery power of 20kWh, the average range in kilometres given per full charge amounts to:

Summer Winter
111km ​131km


For more details regarding the project and a better explanation of the results achieved, the PORT-PVEV Final Report is available here​

The Feasibility Study into the Possibility of Shore Side Electrical Supply for Berthed Vessels within Maltese Harbours, is available for download from here


In October 2015, the PORT-PVEV was awarded the best sustainable transport measure  as part of the Greening the Islands Awards which brings together a number of small islands in the Mediterranean and beyond with a view to promote sustainability in Water, Energy and Transport.  For further information, follow this link​

Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure deployed through Port-PVEV

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Evaluation Version (© 2015 AMREIN ENGINEERING AG)