EU faces EV crisis over charger disparities

The rollout of electric vehicles in under threat in Europe with half of all charging points for electric cars in the European Union concentrated in only two countries.

The warning comes from research undertaken by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), which found that the Netherlands with 90,000 chargers and Germany with 60,000 dominate the continents’ accessible charging points.

The two countries make up less than 10% of the entire EU surface area. The other half of all chargers are scattered throughout the remaining 25 countries, covering 90% of the region’s surface area.

“The gap between countries at the top and bottom of the rankings is massive,” warned ACEA. “The Netherlands, the country with the most infrastructure, has almost 1,600 times more charging points than the country with the least infrastructure, Cyprus, with just 57 charging points. Indeed, the Dutch alone have as many chargers as 23 member states combined.”

“While some countries are powering ahead when it comes to infrastructure rollout, the majority are lagging behind,” stated ACEA Director General, Eric-Mark Huitema. “The stark disparities demonstrate the need for strong AFIR targets that are harmonised across all EU member states.”

“We urge policy makers to reinforce AFIR so that it can achieve the aim of building up a dense European network of charging stations, spanning from north to south and east to west.”

When it comes to the distribution of infrastructure, there is a clear split between central and eastern European countries on the one hand and western European countries on the other, the ACEA explained. For instance, a sizeable country like Romania, some six times larger than the Netherlands, only has 0.4% of all the EU’s charging points.

“Although there has been a strong increase in the number of charging points in the EU over the past five years (+180%), the total number (307,000) falls far short of what is required,” added the research. “To meet CO2 targets, sales of electric vehicles will need to pick up massively in all EU countries. A recent study shows that up to 6.8 million public charging points would be required by 2030 to reach the proposed 55% CO2 reduction for cars – meaning that we need to see over 22 times growth in less than 10 years.”

The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), proposed by the European Commission last year, is designed to help address the situation. However, its ambition level is completely insufficient, said ACEA.

The Netherlands (90,284), Germany (59,410), France (37,128), Sweden (25,197), Italy (23,543) make up the EU nations with the most chargers. Cyprus (57), Malta (98), Lithuania (207), Estonia (385) and Latvia (420) are the counties where electric car driver will find its hardest to access public charging points.

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