Despite strong growth in EV charging infrastructure since 2014, the total number of charging points available across the entire EU at less than 225,00 falls far short of what is required to meet carbon reduction targets.
This is one of the key findings of a new report by European vehicle manufacturers’ trade association, ACEA, Making the Transition to Zero-Emission Mobility (https://www.acea.auto/files/ACEA_progress_report_2021.pdf) which says that, based on European Commission calculations, a further decrease of car CO2 emissions to -50% in 2030 would require some six million publicly available chargepoints points.
This translates into a 27-fold increase in less than a decade, which many see as a huge ask, if carbon reduction targets are going to be met by 2030.
Key findings of the report
Overall last year, conventional fuel types – petrol and diesel combined – still dominated EU car sales in terms of market share at 75.5%.
However, almost a quarter of all cars sold were alternatively powered and electrically-chargeable cars accounted for 10.5% of all new car registrations in the EU in 2020, compared to a 3.0% market share the year before.
Other highlights showed that in 2020:
Of the 224,237 charging points currently available in the European Union today, almost 30% are located in the Netherlands (66,665), with another 20.4% in France (45,751) and 19.9% in Germany (44,538).
The gap between Germany, the number three country, and number four Italy, at 5.8%, is wide, and the share of chargers decreases rapidly thereafter.
The Netherlands – the country with the most infrastructure – has almost 1,000 times more charging points than the country with the least infrastructure, Cyprus, with 70 charging points.
Over the last seven years there has been a 750% increase in the number of chargepoints available across the EU.
Growth in EU charging points
Number of EU charge points
EV chargepoints by country
Some 70% of all electric car chargepoints in the EU are concentrated in just three Western European countries, the Netherland, Germany and France, Together, these countries make up just 23% of the EU’s total surface area.
The top five countries with the most EV chargepoints were:
1. Netherlands (66,665)
2. France (45,751)
3. Germany (44,538)
4. Italy (13,073)
5. Sweden (10,370)
The five countries with the lowest EV chargepoints were:
1. Cyprus (70)
2. Malta (96)
3. Lithuania (174)
4. Bulgaria (194)
5. Greece (275)
When it came to other alternative fuels, 124 hydrogen filling stations were available across 10 EU countries in 2020; 17-member states did not have any at all. The EU also has some 4,000 natural gas filling stations, up 31.6% since 2015. Two-thirds of these are concentrated in two countries alone - Italy and Germany
EVs and Affordability
The report found a strong link between take up of EVs across the EU and earnings per capita, with market uptake of electrically-chargeable vehicles directly correlated to a country’s GDP per capita, showing that affordability remains a major barrier to consumers.
Countries with a total EV market share of less than 3% had an average GDP of below €17,000, including EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe, but also Greece.
The top five countries with the highest market share in the EU and their GDP were as follows:
1. Sweden – 32.2% (GDP of €45,610)
2. Netherlands – 25.0% (GDP of €45,790)
3. Finland – 18.1% (GDP of €42,940)
4. Denmark – 16.4% (GDP of €53,470)
5. Germany – 13.5% (GDP of €40,070)
Meanwhile, the five EU countries with the lowest EV uptake, and their GDP were:
1. Cyprus – 0.5% (GDP of €23,580)
2. Lithuania – 1.1% (GDP of €17,460)
3. Estonia – 1.8 % (GDP of €20,440)
4. Croatia – 1.9% (GDP of €12,130)
5. Poland – 1.9% (GDP of €13,600)
However, another key finding related to the types of charger available. Of the 224,237 charging points available across the EU today, only 24,987 are suitable for fast charging (with a capacity of greater then 22kW), while ‘normal’ points, less than 22kW, account for the vast majority at around 199,250). The so-called ‘normal’ charging points also include many common-or-garden, low-capacity power sockets that are not suitable for charging vehicles at an acceptable speed. Just 1 in 9 charging points in the EU is a fast charger today.
For more details please see the full report here: https://www.acea.auto/files/ACEA_progress_report_2021.pdf