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A visit to the beautiful coastal town of Kavala

The third roundtable discussion on electromobility and the installation of electric vehicle chargers in the framework of the Project “Electric Vehicles and Charging Crossborders Infrastructure” (E.VE.CR.I.) was held in the city of Kavala at the Egnatia Hotel on the 22nd of September.

The workshop attracted interested parties from the field of local government and business. The workshop was organized by the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT) of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) under the auspices of the Hellenic Institute of Electric Vehicles (HELIEV). Co-organizer of the workshop is the Civil Non-Profit Company “Sustainability and Safety Institute” with the distinctive title “ZITIMA ZOIS” (Life Issue).

The moderator of the workshop was the researcher Dr Vassilis Kappatos, Mechanical Engineer and Aeronautical Engineer, head of the laboratory and constructure and infrastructure research on maritime and air transport of HIT / CERTH.  

The opening speech was made by the Civil, Transport and Environmental Engineer Mr. Athanasios Tsioutras, a research associate of HIT / CERTH, one of the first colleagues in HIT/CERTH as he mentioned. As an expert in transport safety and eco mobility he informed the audience in brief for the history of the project, which has been evaluated first in a series of proposals. As a representative and member of HELIEV, he co-signed on March 25th of 2019 in Sofia, Bulgaria, in a Smart Cities Conference, cooperation agreement which has been co-signed by the Electromobility Institutes of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia and Greece. 

Mr Martin Zaimov, the President of the Bulgarian Association of Electric Vehicles (BAEPS) in his presentation, referred to the actions of the EVECRI project on the Bulgarian-Bulgarian side and stressed the need for interoperability between the operators in both countries. 

Mr Pantelis Kosmidis, Chemical and Safety Engineer from the “Issue of Life” referred to the efforts to inform and connect small and medium enterprises with research and science through the extremely high technology carried by electric vehicles, but also about the sustainability they will offer in the field of transport.

Mr Apostolos Pavlidis, representative of the Technical Chamber of Greece in the Prefectures of Kavala and Drama, said that electromobility is an extremely interesting issue for engineers.  He mentioned the technology “vehicle to grid”, a technology that many people do not know. It gives answers to the problem of the stability of the network at peak hours.

Mr Alexis Vrettos from the municipal market of Kavala called “DIMOFELIA”, which also manages the parking lot of the municipal market, referred to the prospect of installing a charger in the three-storey parking lot with a capacity of 320 parking places. 

Mr  Pavlos Tsoumakis, a Mechanical Engineer and President of the Industrial Park of Kavala, said that, according to the legislation, the Industrial Park allows the installation of vehicle chargers.  

Mrs Io Chatzivariti, the scientific associate of Kavala Municipality in European Projects, stated that she is well aware of the EVECRI Project and about the benefits it gives, due to her close cooperation with BAEPS and Mr.  Zaimov. 

Mr Konstantinos Pefanis, the President of the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Kavala, stated that the municipality’s target for their city was to become the pioneer in sustainable transport and eco mobility. He said that the Greeks consider a trip with an electric car between Kavala and Athens to be risky. 

Mrs. Chrysoula Merka, entrepreneur and manager of Smart Drive Ltd, which deals with transport, construction and mining safety, pioneering in the field of interactive experiential training equipment mentioned that safety and economy go together, therefore the company became a member of ELINIO, providing its services in matters of safe and eco driving and that company’s entry into electromobility issues is under consideration. 

Mr Antonis Mazonakis, businessman and the director of Geranolimeniki, in his presentation referred to his 32 years of experience in electric machinery for ports and exposed the advantages of electric motors over the classic solution of diesel or gasoline engines. 

Dr Athanasios Tamvakos, Mechanical Engineer and scientific associate of HIT/CERTH, referred to the impressive increase in the registrations of new pure electric vehicles in Greece between 2018 and until July 2022, which amounts to 2372%, while for pure hybrids it is 500% and plug-in hybrids is 2035%. Mr Tamvakos closed the cycle of presentations with a thorough analysis of the legal framework of electromobility in Greece. He specifically mentioned that for those interested there will be free detailed advisory support from HIT/CERTH and the “Life Issue” in the context of the EVECRI Project.

The round table was attended by representatives of companies and followed by a productive discussion among the participants and ended with a summary of its work by Dr Kappatos who thanked the attendees. 

In the courtyard of the hotel Egnatia in Kavala, which has a charger for electric vehicles, there was an electric vehicle for demonstration during its charging procedure (Mr Zaimov’s personal one), while in the same area Mrs Merka, Smart Drive Ltd, presented driving simulators for trucks, buses and heavy machinery at the mobile training and evaluation centre, which are made available by his company.