PNO Consultants supporting GreenCharge project in three cities

21 October 2020 3 min. read

Innovation specialists from PNO Consultants are supporting GreenCharge – a pan-European initiative that aims to overcome some of the central barriers to electrification.

Countries across Europe have declared their intentions to do away with the internal combustion engines and embrace electric vehicles (EVs) – envisioning a future where mobility is a zero-emission affair. As they charge on with these goals, the complexity and scale of the electrification process has become clear, throwing up myriad barriers.

Running partly on funds from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, GreenCharge is working to overcome these challenges, testing and developing solutions for specific issues in the electrification landscape. The project is being coordinated by Norwegian research and innovation firm Sintef, and is supported by a network of sixteen partners spread across Europe. 

PNO Consultants supporting GreenCharge project in three cities

CIVITAS ­– a global network of sustainable cities – is among the partners, while four academic and research institutions, eight industry partners and two public bodies are also in the mix. Pan-European consultancy PNO Consultants is the chief consulting partner for the project. The firm leverages its decades of experience in project management and innovation support to lend expertise to GreenCharge's pilots and delivery.

About GreenCharge

Together, this comprehensive network of partners is looking to address three broad challenges in the electrification landscape. First is to develop the necessary charging infrastructure, to guarantee availability when it is most needed. The GreenCharge solution here is a smart charging system that allows for prior booking of charging stations for easy access.

At the same time, charging at scale is likely to put significant strain on local power grids. This is particularly true if certain times of day see peaks in charging volume – at the end of the workday for example. The solution here is automation of energy distribution, where supply can be digitally balanced against demand.

“This balancing act combines public supplies and locally produced reusable energy, using local storage as a buffer and staggering the times at which vehicles get charged,” reads the GreenCharge website. Problem three is making electrification financially attractive. GreenCharge is developing and testing a range of business models that can increase the appeal of developing electric motors.

A tale of three cities

While viable in principle, these solutions are now being tested through pilot projects in three European cities – Barcelona, Bremen and Oslo. The pilot in each city tests different aspects of the electric mobility landscape.

In Barcelona, for instance, the project is focused on electric two-wheelers, specifically driving the shift away from heavy fossil fuel powered vehicles to light EVs. In Bremen, the focus is to bring EVs into the shared mobility market, while also using renewable sources and storage batteries to tackle peak charging demand. The Oslo pilot is focused on home charging systems – specifically how to provide affordable, renewable and accessible charging stations at home.

Combined, these pilots test most of GreenCharge’s objectives and solutions, from electrification across vehicle modes, to managing charging and distribution infrastructure, all the way to vehicle sharing and innovative ownership models. By September 2021 – the GreenCharge project deadline – some concrete solutions should emerge for the myriad electric mobility challenges.