IA-HEV Meetings Held in Istanbul in May 2011 to Study EVs in Cities

March 6, 2012 12:30 PM
The 31st ExCo was held in Istanbul in May 2011.


The IA-HEV Executive Committee (ExCo) met twice during 2011. The 34th IA-HEV ExCo meeting convened in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 26–27, preceded by the 31st Task 1 (Information Exchange) meeting on May 25, for the first set of the semiannual meetings.

At the Istanbul ExCo meeting, the special topic for discussion was strategies and programmes for EVs in cities. This topic was chosen in order to provide useful inputs for Task 18 (EV Ecosystems), which had its kickoff in March 2011. Delegates from IA-HEV member countries Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States (U.S.), and visitor Australia all presented on this topic.

The following themes emerged from the discussion:

  • Trial and demonstration projects as well as tax and other financial incentives appear to be the most important means that are used to stimulate the EV market generally. The first EVs are usually applied in car fleets and in rental/lease systems.
  • Setting up recharging infrastructure, including smart charging and metering, is considered most important for EVs to operate in cities. Next most important for urban EV deployment are integration into the city's transport system, financial support, educating the public, car sharing systems, free parking, and standardization issues.
  • Most current projects focus on cars, but some heavy-duty vehicles such as electric buses are also under trial. Fast charging is included in demonstration projects in most countries. Two other vehicle recharging options that have been less popular to date are still being tried: Belgium and the Netherlands are performing trials with inductive charging, and Denmark and Turkey are planning to build battery swap systems.
  • Countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. are working on handbooks that supply practical guidance for EV introduction projects.
  • Affordability appears to be the biggest challenge for mass adoption of electric vehicles.
  • Public education, including addressing range anxiety, is the next big issue.
  • The limited availability of EVs and setting up charging infrastructure are the other main challenges today for their large-scale deployment.

Some particular points could suggest new ideas that other countries might try:

  • The mobility card of the Vlotte model region in Austria includes access to all park-and-charge systems in neighboring countries, in this case, Germany and Switzerland.
  • To demonstrate that battery electric cars can meet citizens’ everyday needs, a Mitsubishi i-MiEV was driven 7,500 km in a 28-day coast-to-coast journey in Canada.
  • In Finland, EVs are not needed to meet the 2020 energy and greenhouse gas emission targets due to their heavy use of biofuels. However, EVs will be needed to meet these targets after 2020.
  • EV taxi drivers in the Netherlands have been trained to drive in an energy-efficient manner.

All of the same countries presented at the Task 1 meeting, with the addition of the United Kingdom, and guests Germany (which then joined IA-HEV in July 2011), South Africa, and the European Union. For the most part, participants all spoke about programs that were in progress, with few conclusive results to announce.

Some countries, such as Austria, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., were in the middle of large pilot projects introducing EVs to their roads. Other countries fostered more regional EV efforts, such as Belgium, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Finally, the remaining countries anticipated launching EV deployment projects or sales in the marketplace in the coming year or two.


Contributed by  Martijn van Walwijk, Secretary-general and Kristin Abkemeier (U.S.), Task 1 Operating Agent, New West Technologies for the U.S. Department of Energy.