What will your charging needs be in five to ten years’ time? To answer this question, municipalities generally produce multiple future scenarios, with a separate forecast for each one. Amsterdam has chosen one single scenario – one in which all current forms of transport will be electric by 2030. What does that maximum scenario mean for your charging needs? And how much will you need to scale up over and above the current charging infrastructure?

The City of Amsterdam’s Strategic Charging Infrastructure Plan 2020-2030 is entitled ‘Laad me’ [‘Charge me’], a pun on the name of a hit song by the well-known Dutch-French singer/actor Ramses Shaffy. The project manager is Bertien Oude Groote Beverborg: ‘We want our residents to have healthy air. That’s why we want all transport in the city to be completely emission-free by 2030, a target that has been included in the Clean Air Action Plan. In addition, the municipality has an ambition to be a climate-neutral city by 2050. Making transport more sustainable helps to achieve this, of course.’

Ideal scenario
For ‘Laad me’, the municipality took an integral approach to the current transport situation, therefore also including water transport. It was also assumed that all modes of transport would be electric by 2030. This maximum scenario results in maximum charging demand with relatively high numbers: the actual numbers will probably be lower, the project manager believes.

There were strategic reasons for choosing this approach, although the factor of speed also played a role, according to the project manager: ‘Whichever scenario you choose, it will be wrong by definition. And if you have multiple scenarios, you have to monitor them all. Which one should you focus on? Which one do you put to the policymakers? It may look like there is a certain degree of choice, but that isn’t the case because the number of charging points will have to be in line with the charging demand.

Weekly feedback
With the maximum scenario as a dot on the horizon, EVConsult worked out the extent to which Amsterdam would have to scale up in terms of charging infrastructure distributed across the city. The first step was a study by Districon which looked at a lot of data and mapped out the energy demand at district (‘postcode 4’) level for all modes of transport based on origin and destination in that area. Then the distribution of different types of charging infrastructure was mapped out in an agile process in a relatively short space of time, Sjoerd Moorman of EVConsult explains. ‘We presented the results of our research to the municipality once a week. This enabled us to constantly make sure we were on the right track and make adjustments and further refinements on the right subjects jointly with them. The municipality wasn’t suddenly presented with a big bang or with a final result set in stone.’

Plenty of data
EVConsult forecast the charging network that would be required for passenger cars on the basis of various data sources. This included assumptions on municipal policy along with user behaviour and technical and economic developments. They also looked at where the chargers should be located at the district level and what that would mean in terms of energy demand.

The role of fast charging was mapped out, not only in numbers but also in types of sites, such as supermarkets or gyms. The taxi market, urban logistics, coaches, public transport buses and vessels were analysed separately. All forecasts were validated by comparing them with leading national and international forecasts.

Big numbers
The forecasts contain some impressive numbers. For example, energy demand for electric transport is predicted to increase eightfold by 2030. This is a point of concern, given the problems that already exist. But there is also good news. By 2030, approximately 82,000 charging points will be needed for passenger cars and delivery vans in Amsterdam. That sounds daunting, but EVConsult’s calculations show that Amsterdam will have as many as 50,000 private and 13,000 semi-public charging points by 2030. Because there will also be a further 800 rapid charging points, Amsterdam will ‘only’ need 18,000 charging points in public spaces in the maximum scenario. Bertien: ‘And that’s 9,000 chargers. Considering that Amsterdam already has 2,500 chargers, that’s doable. Because we are basing our assumptions on the maximum scenario, it is unlikely that we will even need that number of chargers.’

By 2030, the 9,000 chargers will be located in 1 in 15 public car parks, based on the current area. ‘That 1 in 15 is an average, though,’ Bertien explains. ‘In districts with large numbers of new buildings, a lot of charging will take place indoors, in the building itself; in older parts of the city the average will be higher.’

Including residents
Now that Amsterdam has a clear picture of the task at hand, it’s full steam ahead. Bertien: ‘There’s a solid organisation in place. We have just signed a new agreement for demand-driven installation of chargers with TotalEnergies over an installation period of 18 months. We hope to significantly expand the number of standard chargers together with them. It is important to include residents in this expansion. Charging infrastructure takes up relatively few parking spaces, but for all those residents who don’t yet have an EV, that makes substantial inroads on the available space for parking. We therefore want to discuss with stakeholders up front where the chargers will be located so that they are not faced with surprises. In addition to the public space, as a municipality we are fulfilling our management role by entering into talks with the parties responsible for private and semi-public parking facilities. It is important to expand the charging infrastructure in these areas, too. Not only so that we can meet the charging needs of residents with private parking facilities, but also to relieve the pressure on the city’s public charging network.’