Charging point

Malta needs a substantial upgrade in the public charging infrastructure for EVs if it hopes to increase the number of motorists making the switch to electric, with the 2024 Government Budget restating a commitment made the previous year to increase the total number of charging spots to 1,200 by next year.

In May 2022, the number of charging bays stood at 362. The 2024 Government Budget, released in October 2023, states that there are now 372 charging bays.

This means that just 10 new bays have been introduced over the last 18 months.

The 2024 Budget gives no further details on how Malta will be able to more than triple the current stock of charging bays over the coming months.

However, the exit of car-sharing operator GoTo may prove a boom to the Government’s plans, with Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia telling Times of Malta on 13th November (today) that “the plan is to give the parking bays to the energy ministry.”

He said that meetings are currently taking place between Transport Malta and GoTo representatives to “find a way forward and avoid legal action.”

“We expect the situation to be resolved in the coming weeks,” said Minister Farrugia.

The addititon of GoTo’s spots, estimated to be around 450, will more than double the current stock, which remains, on paper, a Government priority.

A representative for Energy Minister Miriam Dalli last year told BusinessNow.mt that the Ministry has prioritised the increase in the availability of electric charging infrastructure, with the aim, it says, “of enacting vast networks of publicly accessible charging infrastructure.”

This objective was adopted in a context where Malta needs to aggressively speed up its adoption of electric vehicles, with a Government-commissioned report by audit and advisory firm PwC finding that there is little to no chance for Malta to his its emissions targets given its current performance.

Tasked with establishing a cut-off date for the importation and registration of internal combustion engines (ICE) vehicles in Malta, PwC found that even setting it as early as 2026 would not be enough to reach the CO2 target set for 2030, by when emissions should be 19 per cent less than they were in 2005.

“Based on the results of the fleet model and CO2 emission calculations for each of the scenarios considered, it can be observed that both the fleet targets and road emission targets set for 2030 are unattainable in the absence of complimentary policy actions,” the report reads, with reference to Malta’s aspiration to have 65,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by the end of the decade.

The report describes Malta’s attempt to meet its climate change targets by electrifying the national fleet and cutting emissions from transport as “unattainable in the absence of complementary policy actions”.

A press conference by Minister Dalli on the budget measures related to sector, held on 13th November (today), did not mention EVs or their charging infrastructure at all, instead effectively repeating measures and initiatives already announced.

The Minister pointed to four distribution centres that have been upgraded over the last two years, in St Julian’s, Marsaskala, Tarxien and Mrieħel. Next to be upgraded – roughly doubling its capacity – is the Naxxar distribution centre, serving Iklin, Għargħur, Mosta and Naxxar. This will be followed by the Siġġiewi distribution centre, serving that locality as well as Mqabba, Żurrieq and surrounding areas.

She added that this particular distribution centre is located close to areas with a high potential for investment in the generation of electricity from PV panels.

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