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EV charging as a conveniency service at retail stores

Sonae MC
January 23, 2023

Sonae MC established a road map, based in the Science Based Targets initiative, that defines several pathways and measures to achieve carbon neutrality, where electric mobility plays a key role.


European leaders’ ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 is well known. Despite the huge challenge that such target poses, Sonae MC group raised the bar even higher and anticipated its own carbon neutrality targets to 2040, reinforcing its undeniable commitment to be part of the solution and positively contribute to the transition ahead.


To achieve this target, Sonae MC established a road map, based in the Science Based Targets initiative, that defines several pathways and measures to achieve carbon neutrality and where electric mobility plays a key role.


In this journey, Sonae MC plans to introduce measures to reduce mobility carbon footprint along the whole value chain. Upstream, influencing its own suppliers to adopt more sustainable transportation technologies, internally, by creating more bicycle parking lots to promote more sustainable daily commute of its employees, shifting light-duty fleet from combustion engine to electric, testing and implementing new solutions in its own logistic processes, from cargo handlers, last mile fleet to heavy duty trucks) and also downstream, by creating a conveniency service to its clients that combines dedicated EV parking and charging – the Continente Plug&Charge – among other initiatives.


This conveniency service dedicated to EV users was launched back in 2020 and by the end of 2023 is expected to cover 120 stores covering the Portuguese territory, accounting for more than 300 charging points, around 12 MW installed capacity. With such figures, the potential impact of electric mobility is undeniable – thus, the need to control (directly or indirectly) its load.


During the Portuguese pilot of InterConnect, load shifting will be incentivized by sharing with the EV user benefits to do so. Different scenarios will be tested, one focused on taking advantage of eventual PV surplus, the other focused on market incentives – spot market price / DSO flexibility needs. Data exchange between entities will be accomplished through the Semantic Interoperable Framework developed during the project.



Test, tune up and implement effective load shifting technics is essential in the current context of the European energy sector. Conflict in Ukraine exposed European dependence on exogenous hydrocarbons and its impact was felt rather quickly making eventual need for load shifting / curtailment nearly eminent. Even in a less turbulent scenario, European targets to become carbon neutral in a couple of decades rely heavily in renewable energy generation, that among many merits has the downside of its inherent variability – increasing the importance of flexibility to help match demand and supply. With the fast growth of the electric mobility, solutions like the ones tested by Elergone Energia and Sonae MC in InterConnect will certainly have a role to play.


In contrast to what happens throughout Europe, Portugal followed a model for the public network of electric mobility governed by a single public entity that bases the implementation in a specific model limiting different approaches, innovation, diverse business models, restraining the entry of international players in the Portuguese market – which is contrary to spirit of the current European law and even more so to the upcoming Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation. Sonae MC is working in collaboration with other partners in InterConnect project in producing results that help in addressing the regulatory barriers and unlocking opportunities in tertiary buildings. SONAE MC will be demonstrating that EV chargers can play a relevant role, increasing conveniency to EV users and building owners, helping to balance the consumption, in a seamless manner, promoting a smarter, decarbonized and more efficient electric sector.

For more information please visit the GitHub page containing various examples.


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