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1,200 new charging points to be installed but Malta still trails Europe in electric vehicle infrastructure

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Luke Zammit/Electric Vehicles Malta Community (Facebook)

The push towards a greener future in Malta faces a significant hurdle as the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) remains sluggish despite government initiatives.

According to figures provided by the Environment Ministry, the ratio of electric cars to charging points stands at 16 cars per charging point, highlighting the challenges ahead.

As of now, there are 372 charging points scattered across Malta and Gozo, with 310 in Malta across 60 localities and 62 in Gozo across 14 localities. While efforts were made in 2023 to boost infrastructure with 46 new charging points in Malta and 12 in Gozo, the pace of transition remains slow.

The number of charging points per 100,000 inhabitants serves as a crucial metric for assessing a nation’s infrastructure capacity. The Netherlands, which leads in several metrics, boasted 577 charging points per 100,000 inhabitants in 2022, followed by Luxembourg (308), Austria (208), and Sweden (228), as reported by ChargeUp Europe.

In stark contrast, Malta only had approximately 19 public charging points per 100,000 inhabitants in 2022, according to ChargeUp Europe’s data.

Based on the provided list, some localities in Malta have a higher concentration of charging points compared to others. For instance, Valletta stands out with 14 charging points, followed by Lija, Msida, Naxxar, St Julians, Swieqi, and Ta’ Xbiex, each having 10 charging points. Conversely, several localities, such as Balzan, Bulebel, Corradino Industrial Estate, Dingli, Fgura, Gharghur, Ghaxaq, Isla, Kirkop, Manikata, Marsaxlokk, Mqabba, Rabat, Safi, Siggiewi, Taxien, and Xaghjra, have only 2 charging points each.

With just 6,000 registered electric vehicles in Malta as of March 2022, there’s a significant gap between EVs and available charging infrastructure.

However, the government is investing in an additional 1,200 charging pillars to be spread across both islands, aiming to bolster accessibility and convenience for electric car owners, the energy and environment ministry told Newsbook.com.mt.

Despite efforts by the government to expand this infrastructure, a recent “communication issue” caused many on-street charging points to be offline, leaving electric car drivers frustrated.

The ministry added that plans are underway to issue tenders related to the construction, operation, and maintenance of these new charging points, aligning with the low carbon Development Strategy of September 2021.

The strategy sets a target of 6,500 charging points by 2030, reflecting a commitment to accelerate the transition to electric mobility.

Despite these efforts, challenges persist. Recent statistics reveal a staggering increase in the number of vehicles on Maltese streets, reaching 438,567.

Private transport, responsible for over 37% of the country’s energy demand and a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions, underscores the urgency of transitioning to cleaner alternatives.

While electric cars offer a promising solution, Malta’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation poses a barrier to achieving meaningful emissions reductions.

Additionally, concerns over jurisdiction and jurisdictional conflicts complicate legal proceedings and may deter potential investors.

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