Planning Electromobility Within SUMP - The French PDU Case

Planning Electromobility Within SUMP - The French PDU Case


Thomas DURLIN, Cerema


French local authorities for mobility now have to integrate electromobility within their sustainable urban mobility plans. This paper presents how they deal with this new objective and gives proposals for efficient and electromobility-friendly plans.


PDU (plan de déplacements urbains) is the French version of the European concept of sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP). PDU gives France one of the most comprehensive legal framework for mobility planning in Europe, defining both process and content of the plan. A series of 11 objectives has been set to PDU. The most recent one, introduced in 2010, requires PDU to define a strategy for the charging points infrastructure deployment dedicated to electric vehicles. In parallel, ambitious French national objectives and other laws – as the law on energy transition to green growth (August 2015) – have created a more electromobility-friendly context.
Cerema has recently conducted a study for the French Ministry for Environment. It has analysed how French local authorities (LA) for mobility have integrated electromobility within the more recent mobility plans.
Results show that a majority of LA – three quarters – is now engaged towards a more supportive policy, but at different levels and on different subjects: studies and experiments, development of a strategy for charging points deployment in response to the objective set by law, electromobility for public transport, … Plans deal with the strategy for charging points deployment – as requested by law – but integrate more ambitious intentions beyond the law requirement, with other sorts of measures.
The study highlights that the operational quality of plans is still to be improved for more solid and efficient mobility plans : turning PDU intentions to operational measures demands a better programming approach regarding both financial and temporal perspectives, as well as a more solid governance with more detailed and strong partnerships between LA and other stakeholders. The stake should also be put on improved business models to ensure services enduring beyond the deployment stage.
One of the main challenges for LA is to integrate the development of electric vehicles within a car-decreasing policy, as the decrease in private car traffic is one of the major and historical PDU objectives. This requires the definition of a comprehensive set of measures mixing charging points development but also car parking, car sharing, public transport and urban logistics. Strategy for charging points deployment should also identify areas where supporting electric vehicles is relevant (basically in low density areas) and where other solutions should be given priority to.
Finally, developing an electromobility policy within PDU is a first step towards smart cities with more integrated mobility and energy policies.


Association for European Transport