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Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
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Electrical Mobility

The development of Electric Mobility through new electric vehicles and an innovative model of an integrated battery charging network for electric vehicles was defined as a strategic priority for Portugal.

The Electric Mobility Program in Portugal (MOBI.E Program) was created by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 20/2009 (text in Portuguese), of February 20, with the aim to introduce and popularize the use of electric vehicles at the national level. This program allowed to position Portugal as a pioneer in adopting new models for environmentally sustainable electric mobility, with rational use of electricity and capability to use energy produced by renewable sources. The focus on electrical mobility aims both energy objectives (reduction of energy dependence on fossil fuels), environmental (reduction of air pollution, CO2 emissions and noise), and socio-economic (reduction of mobility costs of families and businesses who opt for this alternative mobility).

The Decree-Law No. 39/2010 (text in Portuguese) , of April 26, had three main objectives: (i) to encourage the acquisition and use of electric vehicles through significant subsidies; (ii) to ensure that battery charging for electric vehicles can be conveniently and effectively accomplished through an integrated battery charging network, with the creation of a national network of charging points that can be used through a charging card contracted with any of the electricity suppliers, facilitating the creation of loading points in homes and buildings, and forcing the installation of charging points for private access in new buildings; and (iii) to establish a system of universal and equitable access to electric mobility services. It was also created a pilot network for the electrical mobility, of national scope and covering 25 towns, with the aim of reaching by 2011 1,350 charging points and of testing and validating solutions for electric mobility.

The 25 municipalities of the national pilot network for the electrical mobility and INTELI created a "Living Lab" for electrical mobility which is integrated in the RENER — Renewable Energy Living Lab, the first in Europe in this area, one of the “Living Labs” of ENOLL – European Network of Living Labs.

The MOBI.E Program is also a good opportunity to explore the most advanced knowledge and technology in communication networks between vehicles and the advanced applications that enable the integration of these vehicles with smart transport systems which are an important area, as one of the technology and applications components of the Future Internet.

Research and Development (R&D) in the several aspects of Electric Mobility is essential to sustain the objective of Portugal to participate economically in this sector, as this requires to be permanently on the frontier of scientific knowledge creation in the field, and, besides, it is essential to be part of the main international Knowledge Networks on this theme in order to establish alliances, to spot trends and to benefit from opportunities of innovation and business that may arise. The R&D related to Electric Mobility has been considered, in particular, through the programs aimed at strengthening Knowledge Networks within international partnerships, in particular, the Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Program and the MIT – Portugal Program. The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) has been paying special attention to the promotion of these activities as part of its contribution to strategic management of these programs and the corresponding R&D thematic networks, and to the promotion of the participation of Portuguese research units and enterprises in the European R&D programs in mentioned themes, particularly in the ICT component of the 7th Framework Programme on RTD, and the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) of the CIP – Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme. This activity specifically aimed at entities that participate in the MOBI.E Program began in August 2010 when Enterprises of the MOBI.E Project Met with the Program Carnegie Mellon – Portugal (text in Portuguese) and continued after that with contacts involving the Carnegie Mellon – Portugal Program, several Associate Laboratories and Research Units, INTELI, the CEIIA – Centre of Excellence and Innovation in the Automotive Industry, and enterprises associated with the MOBI.E Program. The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) promoted privileged contacts of several of these entities with European Commission staff and other individuals, in order to create conditions for the preparation of a winning proposal to calls with EU funding that were planned for opening within the mentioned EU programs for R&D projects, and to bring researchers working in areas and interest to Electric Mobility to get involved with the enterprises associated with the MOBI.E Program. This work of the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) finally succeeded in creating the conditions for approval in the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) 2011 Call of the Project MOBI.Europe, led by a Portuguese entity (INTELI) and receiving 2.4 million euros of funding for the whole consortium which involves partners from Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and France (Renault), with about 1/4 of the total funding being for the three Portuguese partners that integrate the project consortium.

Last updated ( 24/10/2011 )