Supply of chargers is not standing in way of EV sales, but car availability is

The number of electric vehicle chargers is not holding back EV sales but the limited availability of the vehicles is. That's according to a comprehensive analysis of member states’ plans for the deployment of EV charging infrastructure to support the EV fleet between now and 2020. More investment in public charging infrastructure will be needed after 2020 as EV sales increase, but it is not a problem for consumers yet.

There are sufficient public recharging facilities for the number of EVs on the road in 2017 in all countries, the analysis finds, and if national infrastructure roll-out plans are met there will also be sufficient EV chargers until 2020 for the number of EVs on the road by then.

Electric vehicles accounted for 1.4% of new car sales in the EU in 2017, a market share that would have been higher if more EVs were available to purchase. The new analysis is by the Electromobility Platform, a partnership of organisations from across civil society, industries, and transport modes to promote the shift to all forms of electric transport, which reduces climate emissions but also cuts air and noise pollution in urban areas.

There were, on average, five electric vehicles on the road per public charging point in 2017 in the EU – well within the European Commission’s recommended ratio of 10 per charging point. However, the European average distracts from the underserved areas where further ambition for electromobility is needed.

By 2020 there will be around 10 EVs per charger – also in line with the Commission target – if EU countries deliver on their plans. But further investment in public charging points will be required both before and after 2020 as electric vehicle sales increase. Also, the analysis estimates that there will be at least one high power charging station every 40km on key European highways by 2020. While this surpassses the Commission’s recommendation of one every 60 km, this progress should be monitored to ensure that even less densely populated areas are covered with high power charging.

The chairperson of the Platform for Electro-mobility and head of the Brussels Renault-Nissan Alliance Office, Marie-France van der Valk, said: ‘The European Member States are taking the right turn on electro-mobility and the EV market is starting to develop in an encouraging way. But full electro-mobility momentum can only be achieved together, with all of the EU members taking real initiatives for more infrastructure, green public procurement and actively supporting the shift to a low-carbon economy.’