How EU Member States roll-out electric-mobility: electric charging infrastructure in 2020 and beyond

Sufficient accessible charging infrastructure is a key enabler for the accelerated uptake of electric cars. This briefing analyses the current and planned future roll-out of EV charging infrastructure in European Member States, based governments’ plans (National Policy Frameworks) submitted to the Commission as part of the implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive.

The aspirations of the member states to support alternative fuels varies greatly – but 10 Member States (Austria, Denmark, France, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, and Luxembourg) clearly prioritize electromobility. Only 3 countries (Italy, Hungary and Czech Republic) have ambitious goals for the roll-out of natural gas vehicles. Three countries have proposed unrealistically high estimates for future number of EVs on the road by 2020 (Germany, France, Austria) given there are only 36 months of sales and are unlikely to achieve their goals.

The national plans show that the current level of recharging points available in the EU is sufficient for the number of vehicles on the road – based upon the European Commission recommendation of 10 EVs for each recharging point. National plans for rollout of public charging infrastructures by 2020 EU-wide are also expected to keep pace with the anticipated growth in the number of vehicles. There will also be sufficient fast chargers alongside the principal highway routes with at least one fast recharger every 40km. Accordingly, there is not likely to be any widespread shortage of recharging points if Member States deliver on their plans – although there may be local areas of over and under supply. After 2020 there will need to be a significant further investment, beyond existing plans, to match the number of EVs expected to be on the road. Some further EU funding will be essential particularly in less developed markets.