Shopping and Charging stations. EuroCommerce supports roll-out of charging infrastructure for e-mobility, but calls for flexibility and SME mindset.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted the report on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), including requirements on charging stations for non-residential buildings.
Commenting on the report, EuroCommerce Director-General Christel Delberghe said: “Our sector supports the revision of the EPBD and its objective of upgrading the existing rules to achieve a zero-emission and fully decarbonised building stock by 2050. The continued roll-out of charging infrastructure for e-mobility is an important part of our sector’s sustainability transition . Our members are ready to do their part and have been proactive in installing fast-charging points. We welcome the fact that the ITRE Committee wants to fast-track and harmonise permits for charging stations and grid connections. However, we still see room for improvement in the coming negotiations between the co-legislators and have a few recommendations that would support its objectives without creating unnecessary and unrealistic investment burdens on our sector and especially SMEs.”
A EuroCommerce study recently carried out in partnership with McKinsey estimates that the retail and wholesale sector needs to invest up to €600 billion between now and 2030 to achieve its digital and sustainability transformation and to attract and retain talent. As part of this, installing charging infrastructure for retailers’ and wholesalers’ own net-zero fleets and for their customers’ electric vehicles would require the sector to invest €20-€40 billion between now and 2030.
EuroCommerce offers four key recommendations for the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive that would support the Directive’s objectives without creating unnecessary or unrealistic investment burdens for the retail and wholesale sector.
The Directive needs to ensure that:
– Ducting requirements for charging stations in parking areas should be kept and not extended to a pre-cabling requirement, as pre-cabling requires significantly more investment and brings no additional benefit compared to ducting.
– Member States can exempt SMEs to balance obligations according to the resources and viability of economic operators, as is the case in the current version of the EPBD.
– Charging station requirements should only be applied if they are technically, functionally and economically feasible in order to avoid overburdening businesses in our sector.
– Procedures for licensing and acquiring permits for charging stations and grid connections are accelerated and simplified, as they are often the limiting factor and mandating a minimum number of charging points for parking spaces doesn’t help solve this problem.
EuroCommerce is the principal European organisation representing the retail and wholesale sector. It embraces national associations in 27 countries and 5 million companies, including leading global players and many small businesses. Over a billion times a day, retailers and wholesalers distribute goods and provide an essential service to millions of business and individual customers. The sector generates 1 in 7 jobs, offering a varied career to 26 million Europeans, many of them young people. It also supports millions of further jobs throughout the supply chain, from small local suppliers to international businesses. EuroCommerce is the recognised European social partner for the retail and wholesale sector.