Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: July 10, 2024
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini

UVE reveals: how to stand out as a CPO in the Portuguese market?

Manuel Reis, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Electric Vehicle Users Association (UVE), analyses the transition towards electromobility in the country. Is it accessible for CPOs to penetrate the Portuguese market?
Attention CPOs! UVE reveals how to stand out in the portuguese eMobility market

The Portuguese electromobility market is growing by leaps and bounds, with an increasing number of charge point operators (CPOs) seeking to establish themselves in the country.

Manuel Reis, Vice President of the Board of Directors of UVE.

According to Manuel Reis, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Electric Vehicle Users Association (UVE), Portugal’s current regulations facilitate the entry of new companies, “with a well-defined set of requirements that must be met.”

“The high number of CPOs, now over 100, for a small market like ours, is proof of this,” he assures Mobility Portal Europe.

So, how can one stand out in the country?

One way to do so is by incorporating additional benefits at each charge point, such as protection from the sun and rain, as well as complementary services like restrooms and Wi-Fi.

At the same time, Reis notes that UVE is observing a user preference for stations with more than four points.

“This reduces the uncertainty of having an available charger,” he explains.

Additionally, drivers are opting for simpler cost structures, “preferably with a value per kilowatt-hour (kWh),” as opposed to the majority that currently use time-based charging rates rather than energy consumption.

“A CPO with a competitive price point that can charge by energy rather than time would be a great success,” emphasises Reis.

These recommendations are part of a set of best practices defined by UVE for operators, which, if implemented, “can be a harbinger of success.”

However, entering the Portuguese market also requires knowledge of the local industry.

In June, the country registered 8.871 new electrified vehicles (electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid electric), a 2,6 per cent increase over the same month the previous year.

From January to June 2024, registrations of this type totalled 51.763 units, a 12,5 per cent growth compared to 2023.

Meanwhile, in 2023, the public access infrastructure continued to grow at a rapid pace, with an average of 25 stations installed per week, resulting in an increase of approximately 1,300 stations in total.

By the end of the year, the Mobi.E network, the public company responsible for driving the development of electric and sustainable mobility in the country, had around 4,450 stations and over 7,800 points.

37 per cent of these consist of fast or ultra-fast chargers, with power ratings exceeding 22 kilowatts (kW).

“I believe we are maintaining a fast pace of transition to electric mobility, with a current market share of electric vehicles approaching 30 per cent, a growth of more than 20 per cent compared to last year,” states Manuel Reis.

This, according to the UVE representative, is due to a solid and consistent set of purchase incentives, especially for companies, combined with investment in a central network of public fast chargers.

Despite this explosive growth, he notes: “We are now experiencing some degradation in the ratio of public chargers to the number of cars on the road, although we are still above the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) target.”

He emphasises the importance of continuing to simplify and improve the installation process to avoid delays of more than a year in commissioning, which occur in some locations due to electrical supply issues and bureaucratic procedures.

What trends does UVE observe in the Portuguese eMobility market?

One of them is the notable increase in sales of electric vans, with figures approaching 1,000 units in the first four months of the year.

These investments are not only made by large delivery companies but also by numerous SMEs that have realised the “enormous gains in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)” offered by these vehicles.

Another trend the association observes is a sharp increase in eCars manufactured in China, excluding Teslas made in the Asian country.

“This must be noted by traditional car manufacturers to remain competitive,” highlights Manuel Reis.

And he concludes: “The ambitious European electrification targets are not against traditional producers, they serve as a warning to accelerate their transition and cease investing in obsolete fossil fuel technologies within ten years.”

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