Total has won the concession tender of the City of Paris for the modernisation and expansion of the French capital’s public charging network. The concession is valid for ten years and covers the supply, installation and operation of the charging network.
With Total as the new concession holder, an unstable chapter in Paris comes to an end. The oil company with ambitions in the field of electromobility will merge the charging stations of the existing Autolib and Bélib network, modernise them and expand the network to a total of 2,300 charging points, which marks an increase of 56 per cent compared to the current situation. Total is also aiming to install quick-charging stations at selected underground parking spaces.
Total says that it intends to offer attractive energy tariffs adapted to the needs of electric car drivers. They say that the charging process should be kept as simple as possible, and the availability and quality of service should be guaranteed. While Total’s public statement is not more specific, the media and the Avere France organisation quoted from the Group’s plans. In Paris, for example, in addition to the 270 existing Bélib charging points, 1,830 new 7 kW charging points (single stations) and 140 3 kW charging points (double stations) for electric two-wheelers are to be created. Besides, charging hubs with several 50 kW charging stations each in ten underground garages are planned. All in all, the talk is of 80 DC chargers.
According to the Automobile Propre website, Total has committed itself to ensure a minimum availability rate of 95 per cent for the charging infrastructure. The Group intends to deploy 13 people who will check each station on average once a week and who can be present within a maximum of half an hour if necessary. Availability is not an issue without reason, since there have been and still are frequent complaints about defective devices in the Autolib network operated by Bolloré and also in the Bélib charging network.
Total will also provide contactless payment by credit card on all the pillars. Automobile Propre further writes that the entire network is to be implemented within 13 months of signing the contract. This means at the turn of the year 2021/22.
In the summer of 2018, the Bolloré Group’s Autolib stationary electric car-sharing service that had been established in Paris for seven years was discontinued following disputes with the city. Since then, the ageing charging points have either been orphaned or are in temporary operation. At the beginning of 2016, while Autolib was still “alive”, the city founded another network with Bélib to supplement the Autolib network and has since been managed by the French charging network operator Izivia.
Now Total will take over. The French group recently took over Bolloré’s legacy in London, where it took over the ‘Source London’ network with more than 1,600 charging points. At the beginning of the year, Total also obtained a concession in the Netherlands, which allows it to install and operate up to 20,000 new charging points in the Netherlands. The charging infrastructure is to be developed in the three provinces of North Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht.
For Paris, Total has officially announced that it will integrate its development program for solar parks in France into the charging infrastructure project. The regenerative energy obtained in this way should cover the entire electricity requirements of the charging network. The Group has already made a similar announcement for the concession in the Netherlands. According to Automobile Propre, Total’s bid went far beyond the requirements of the Parisian authorities and beat off competition from Shell, Izivia, Renault, Schneider Electric, Spie and Bouygues Énergies & Services, among others.
“This partnership with the City of Paris enables us to accelerate our transformation toward a broad energy company,” says Alexis Vovk, President of Total’s Marketing & Services division, “We are delighted by the trust placed in us by the Council of Paris (…). Following Amsterdam, Brussels and London, another major European city is henceforth building on Total’s expertise to foster the transition of its citizens’ mobility”.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France