There’s no doubt that Malta’s road infrastructure will have to undergo huge changes in the coming years to make electric cars the norm and ensure the country meets its national carbon neutrality targets.
With this in mind, the Local Councils’ Association has come up with an eight-point plan to aid in this transition, which it is set to release in the coming days.
These are the points the LCA identified.
1. Realise that electric vehicles will drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions but won’t solve problems related to Malta’s traffic congestion and parking shortage woes. Therefore, a broader national strategy is required reduce the total number of vehicles on the road.
2. Electric vehicles must be viewed as part of a future where multi-modal and shared transport is commonplace, with smart algorithms helping people realise how to best arrive from A to B in the fastest, cheapest and most environmentally aware manner
3. A national sustainable mobility policy must be set up and clearly communicated to all stakeholders, to ensure its goals are adapted on a regional, local and neighbourhood level.
4. Authorities should be given access to user data to help them increase electric car adoption at the lowest cost and in the shortest timeframe. The duration terms of government concessions and service agreements should be short to allow the government to introduce any new technologies that emerge in this new market.
5. A national policy should be set up to encourage people with a personal garage or reserved parking spot to charge their cars there, leaving public charging points for those without an alternative.
6. Local plans should be redrafted to take into account the way residents and visitors navigate through towns and villages, both by car and through other means. Once this exercise is done, the locations and volume of public charging points can be chosen.
7. With thousands of public chargers set to replace free-for-all public parking spaces by the end of this transition, a well-planned national strategy is necessary to ensure this loss of parking spaces is well-planned.
“The impossible promise of providing free-for-all parking spaces no matter the number of vehicles, the location and the time of day is a significant concern to our local councillors and mayors,” the document reads.
“Vehicle registrations have been steadily increasing and we now top the European statistics for the highest number of vehicles per licenses driver, cars per km of roads and the highest density of households per km of road.”
“The challenge becomes more pressing when residents rightly demand more public open spaces, better pedestrian infrastructure and safer road infrastructure for bicycles and micro-mobility vehicles.”
8. The authorities should come up with a plan on how to handle, process and recycle the waste generated by the tens of thousands of heavy fuel cars that will be ditched in favour of electric cars every year, as well as the electric car batteries that will eventually need replacing.