How to cater to growing electric charging demands?

Meet Electromobility Masterplan in Turku

As part of the USER-CHI project, Turku has created a comprehensive, city-wide Electromobility masterplan aimed at transforming the city’s transportation landscape. The plan focuses primarily on the expansion and enhancement of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, particularly for electric cars, with an eye towards accommodating other electric vehicles as well.

Years of hard work paying off for Turku

The journey towards this ambitious masterplan began in 2020 and 2021, with extensive surveys and data collection efforts. At that time, Turku had 180 charging points, predominantly privately owned but publicly accessible. These early steps also involved scrutinizing international, EU, and national regulations to ensure the plan’s alignment with broader legislative frameworks.

In 2022, the focus shifted towards evaluating city-owned properties for potential electrification. This included identifying crucial stakeholder groups and forming an internal working group within the city’s administration to oversee the project’s progress. The goal was to lay a solid foundation for the subsequent phases of the plan.

The year 2023 marked significant progress with the creation of detailed electrification plans for municipal properties and the initiation of the tendering process for new charging points. Turku engaged in extensive market dialogues with seven major Charge Point Operators (CPOs) and Electric Mobility Service Providers (EMSPs) in Finland, leveraging their insights to refine the plan. Surveys conducted during this period, involving over 500 participants, revealed that most respondents were already electric car users, providing valuable feedback for the Masterplan. This process resulted in the first draft of the Masterplan submitted to the decision-makers.

By 2024, the charging Masterplan had undergone a thorough impact assessment, and specific mobility plans were being finalized with assistance from consulting experts. Cost estimations and traffic planning were integral parts of this phase. Importantly, the masterplan has been made available to the public at this point, so the citizens can provide feedback to the final draft, ensuring the plan reflects the community’s needs and expectations.

Communication with stakeholders as a crucial piece of the puzzle

Several critical insights emerged from the stakeholder analysis and surveys. A notable finding was the heavy reliance on public charging points, with many residents lacking access to night-time charging facilities. The surveys also highlighted significant dissatisfaction with the current charging network, underscoring the necessity for comprehensive improvements.

According to projections based on the country-wide estimation of electric cars from the Finnish Ministry of Transportation, Turku expects the need to support around 20,000 rechargeable vehicles by 2030. This would mean that the city will need approximately 2,000 EV charging points by this time, which represents a substantial increase from the current 350 chargers.

Turku used the USER-CHI-developed CLICK tool to determine the design of its charging network to match the size of the estimated network in 2030. The results of CLICK, based on several layers of manually added data and Open Street Maps, were further enriched with Turku’s own data on their current charging network, as well as with results of the survey capturing community needs. With the Masterplan, the city aims to ensure that residents in the city centre have access to a charging station within a two-block radius and that suburban areas are adequately covered.

The plan’s implementation is planned to start in the second half of 2024, with the first charging streets expected to be operational by early 2025. The tendering process will be divided into smaller contracts to encourage participation from a wide range of operators. Contracts will span ten years, providing stability while allowing for adjustments based on market dynamics. While the city will monitor CPOs, it intends to allow them considerable freedom in their business models to foster a competitive and user-friendly market.

Turku’s Electromobility Masterplan represents a bold and necessary step towards a more sustainable urban environment. By aligning with both local needs and broader regulatory frameworks, and by engaging deeply with stakeholders and the public, Turku is setting a benchmark for other cities aiming to transition to electric mobility. The upcoming phases of implementation and continued public engagement will be crucial in ensuring the plan’s success and in meeting the city’s ambitious goals for 2030.

Want to find out more about USER-CHI?

 Are you feeling curious and want to dive even deeper into the world of USER-CHI? Try clicking on one of our suggestions below! 

Share this: