By Rosie Ogden
NINETY new charge spots for electric vehicles were installed in and around Paris for the recent COP21 global summit on climate change, which finally agreed that fossil fuels need to be phased out.
The installation was done by the Renault-Nissan Alliance in partnership with French energy provider EDF, Schneider Electric, Aéroports de Paris, Paris City Council and SNCF, France’s national railway company.
The charging stations refuelled 200 EVs serving as VIP shuttles for negotiators, delegates and media attending the conference.
More than 20,000 UN participants from 195 countries attended the 21st annual Conference of Parties (known as COP21), from November 30th to December 11th.
“COP21 is a call to action to reduce the impact of climate change – including global warming resulting from personal transportation,” said Renault-Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. “Electric vehicles are the only existing, practical and affordable transportation solution to our planet’s environmental challenges – and they are available today. Expanding the EV infrastructure is mandatory for any city or state that’s serious about environmental stewardship.”
The quick and standard EV charging stations used renewable and extremely low-carbon electricity from EDF, enabling the Renault-Nissan fleet to cover more than 400,000 kilometres in two weeks. The quick charging stations can recharge EVs from 0 to 80 per cent capacity in about 30 minutes.
EVs consume any form of electricity used in the power grid, including hydropower, solar and wind energy. As countries reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase reliance on renewable resources, EVs become even greener.
The COP21 charging stations in the Paris region used electricity with a small carbon footprint. The French power grid distributes electricity with a very low average of CO2 emissions per kWh: less than 40g in 2014, compared to the European average of 325g of CO2 emissions per kWh. Renewable energy accounted for about 19 per cent of France’s electricity last year.
“EDF supports the development of electric mobility, which is a cornerstone of countries’ efforts to minimise urban pollution. EDF produces extremely low-carbon electricity in France, which enables a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and thus reinforces the favorable ecological footprint of this new generation of transport,” said EDF Chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Levy.
In addition, EDF is offsetting the remaining CO2 emissions through carbon credits generated by projects certified by the United Nations.
Fourteen of the 27 quick chargers installed remain after the climate change conference and are available for the public to use. These include two at Charles de Gaulle Airport, two on the Paris périphérique highway and one at Orly Airport.
France already has about 10,000 quick and standard charging spots. In the Paris region alone, there are more than 4,000 spots, making Paris one of the most ‘plugged in’ cities in Europe.