Slow rollout of EV chargers in Central, Eastern Europe risks CO2 targets: ACEA

22 Jun 2022

Quantum Commodity Intelligence - Almost half of electric vehicle charging points currently in the EU are located in just two countries, the Netherlands and Germany, illustrating the challenge in front of policymakers planning to ban gasoline and diesel cars, said industry body the ACEA Wednesday.

The Netherlands has as many chargers as the bottom 23 EU states combined with 90,000 chargers and Germany has 60,000, out of an EU total of 307,000.

By contrast, Romania, which has nearly six times the land area of the Netherlands, has just over 1,200 chargers, according to ACEA data

A proposed CO2 emissions regulation will effectively ban the sale of gasoline and diesel cars from EU manufacturers from 2035 and a separate Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) sets out targets for the rollout of charging infrastructure across the EU.

The ACEA has been critical of the AFIR proposal, saying that it does not go far enough, while other groups have pushed back against the auto industry saying that installing more chargers would represent a poor incremental return in investment from public funds.

A study cited by the ACEA said that up to 6.8 million public charging points would be needed to support the proposed 55% reduction in CO2 from cars by 2030.

The proposal for AFIR would lead to only around 3.9 million chargers by 2030 though, according to the ACEA. It has also been amended to allow countries to adjust their individual rollout plans.

"While some countries are powering ahead when it comes to infrastructure rollout, the majority are lagging behind," said 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."

Other countries with high relative percentage shares of charging points were Italy, Belgium and Austria, while France, Spain and Sweden all had high numbers of chargers but worse numbers relative to their land area.

The lowest numbers of charges overall were seen in smaller countries such as Cyprus, Malta and the Baltic States.

The worst performing in terms of charger share compared to land area were in Central and Eastern Europe, including Romania, Poland and Bulgaria, as well as Greece.