Brand new electric charging points have been designed and installed by the government throughout the Principality. The hope is that these Monaco On charging facilities will encourage consumers to buy electric vehicles and push the Principality one step closer to becoming 100% electric in the near future.
For years now, the response has always been the same. “Electric vehicles? Yes, they’re a great idea, I’m ready to buy one. But the problem is charging them…”. Since 1994, the Princely Government has been trying to incentivise the public to invest in more eco-friendly means of transport. Discounted prices, free charging, reduced rates in public carparks, free roadside parking and annual registration plate renewal… many different incentives have been used over the years to try and encourage more people to use electric vehicles.
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The most recent attempt? Monaco On. A new network of electric charging points, difficult to miss with their bright yellow colour, dotted around the Principality, offering more powerful and faster battery charging. Completely free to use, each one capable of charging multiple vehicles at once, they can be found all over town, both at the side of the road and in carparks, including those at the Casino, Grimaldi Forum and in the Portier area. Very soon there will also be some installed in the Fontvieille shopping centre carpark. Is this finally a sustainable solution?
Over 100 terminals with super-fast charging speed
“Installation began over a year ago,” explained Virginie Haché Vincenot, in charge of the Mission for Energy Transition, whilst speaking about Monaco On. “Today, we have 140 charging terminals in public carparks and 11 on the roadside [each roadside terminal can charge two vehicles at once, so there are in fact 22 recharging points]. There will be six more installed by the end of June.”
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What makes these electric stations so unique is their recharging speed. Equipped with 22kWh terminals, these charging points can boost the charge in a Renault ZOE battery from 20% to 80% in just 1 hour and 26 minutes. Whilst you wait for your vehicle to get its battery power back, you are free to do whatever you like, be it get ready for work or pop to the supermarket, since charging your car means you benefit from free parking.
More and more greener vehicles on the roads
“We are relying on people being good citizens and not using the charging points for too long,” said Virginie Haché Vincenot, in response to questions from Monégasque residents, who regularly complain that the stations are almost always in use. “Everyone living in the Principality has access to a station less than 150 metres from their house, instead of 300m away, as was the case previously. By using the app, there is also a virtual map that allows you to see when charging points become available,” she added.
Whilst 8% (7.5% last December) of all vehicles in Monaco are either electric or hybrids, almost 50% of administrative vehicles already fall into these categories. For example, the vehicles driven by post office employees are already “more than 70% electric”, as explained by Marc Lea, manager of the postal service in Monaco. Add to this the electric buses and taxis already on the roads, Monaco is becoming more and more sustainable. Can the Principality turn 100% green?