Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: March 14, 2024
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini

CPOs: What are the best locations to install charging points in Portugal?

Carlos Ferraz, eMobility Director at PRIO, a player with over 14 years of experience in the electric mobility sector, provides recommendations on the installation of charging points in Portugal. Is an accessible country for entry as a CPO?
PRIO-Mobility Portal Europe-charging-points-Portugal
Carlos Ferraz, eMobility Director at PRIO.
Carlos Ferraz, eMobility Director at PRIO.

Currently positioned as the fourth most significant player in the country’s service station market, PRIO plans to double this figure throughout 2024.

However, what are the ideal sites for deploying infrastructure as a Charge Point Operator (CPO)?

“Portugal is a small country, and the concentration of users is mainly in the major coastal cities, such as Lisbon, Porto, Braga, Aveiro,” states Carlos Ferraz, eMobility Director at PRIO, to Mobility Portal Europe.

With over 14 years of experience in the electric mobility sector, the company always seeks to pinpoint where electric vehicle (EV) drivers are located.

“The optimal locations for installing charging points in Portugal are where EV users are situated,” he asserts.

Therefore, as an e-Mobility Service Provider (eMSP), also responsible for electricity sales, they consider places in the southern part of the country, where foreign tourism is concentrated, to be particularly favourable.

That’s where operators should focus their efforts to install, as that’s where the demand is highest,” Ferraz highlights.

This is evidenced in the figures published on the public company MOBI.E‘s map.

According to this, there are currently over 3,800 installed units in the territory, of which more than 1,500 are located in the region mentioned by the eMobility Director.

Out of all the chargers in the country, approximately 100 belong to PRIO.

These are installed in a variety of places, such as parking lots, shopping centres, and hotels, although the majority are at the company’s service stations.

The goal for this year is to increase this number, primarily at stations that do not yet have chargers and to add more to those that already do.

PRIO charging point in Lisbon, Portugal.

In this context, the expert argues that although tourist areas are the most competitive, it is crucial for CPOs to strive to deploy their devices in locations with lower user traffic as well.

“It is essential to promote and increase the number of EV drivers and provide greater security to those who already own them,” he emphasizes.

Moreover, this will be indispensable for complying with the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).

This sets deployment targets for electric charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure on major roads in the European Union (EU), which each member country must meet.

At this point, Ferraz insists on the need to reduce the time from the start of construction to the operation of them.

Currently, the average time for this in Portugal is between nine and ten months, even considering that its processes are somewhat more streamlined than in other countries.

However, PRIO has an installation project whose process began in 2020 and has yet to be launched in 2024.

In this framework, he stresses: “There are locations where implementation is easier than others.”

And he elaborates: “We are in discussions with the Government to increasingly simplify procedures, with the aim of reducing deadlines to a maximum of three months.”

This not only concerns Portugal but also the rest of the EU countries, as it is a problem that is repeated in all of them.

Is Portugal an accessible country for foreign CPOs?

According to Ferraz, yes. It is a market that especially allows smaller companies to enter and compete with larger firms, thus fostering competition in the sector.

This is partly due to the interoperable network that the country has, an approach that benefits not only users and strengthens the development of electromobility but also proves advantageous for operators.

“Customers who have a PRIO card can use it at any charging point in the country, regardless of the CPO,” he maintains.

This eliminates the need for drivers to download multiple applications, as is the case in other EU markets.

With this, they aim to create a network that covers every corner of the nation, which will generate greater confidence in the adoption of EVs.

Additionally, Portugal has a map managed by MOBI.E, where eCar users can check the location of the stations, their availability, prices, among other features.

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