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Statistics have been used to show rapid growth in electric vehicles over the last few years (mainly battery e-vehicles but also plug-in hybrids), and the current levels of infrastructure have been enough for the market to date. Over the next 10 years, sales of e-vehicles are likely to surge – indeed the EU is hoping for a major increase to aid its road transport decarbonisation plans – yet such a surge will not happen if motorists have insufficient places to charge their cars.
T&E has calculated that around 3 million public charging points will be needed for 44 million electric vehicles in 2030 if the EU is to decarbonise road transport. As the current total is around 185,000 charging points, it means today’s charging infrastructure will have to increase by more than 15 times over the next 10 years.
To finance this increase, Europe will need to spend €20 billion over the next 11 years, or €1.8 billion a year on average, in private and public investment. However, this is just 3% of the EU’s annual spend on road infrastructure today, so it is not an unthinkable sum, and would be an investment to save on costs currently caused by emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles. T&E says this is a business opportunity, and the EU’s new Green Deal should encourage co-financing of charging points between public/private bodies and the EU via the European investment plan.
T&E’s e-mobility analyst Lucien Mathieu said: ‘The Green Deal for transport can only happen with zero-emission infrastructure. This means putting money into setting up the network of public chargers, especially at home and at work, and not in building more fossil gas pipelines. So far the number of charging points has kept pace with demand, but the coming electric surge needs to be supercharged by vastly expanding the charging network.’
T&E said a European masterplan should also ensure the full coverage of all European road networks by chargers by 2025 at the latest, and that charging an electric car be made as simple and transparent for consumers as refuelling at a petrol station. Prices should also be fair, and offered in price per kWh, alongside a harmonised automatic authentication system and ability to pay ad hoc using a credit/debit card.
Commercial properties such as large shops, leisure and sports facilities with parking facilities, as well as petrol stations are ideal locations and should be required by EU and national law to facilitate charging. The EU’s Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive should be revised and made a regulation that sets minimum targets of a fifth of parking spots at medium and large commercial properties to have chargers by 2025 and half by 2030.