Carmakers, environmentalists and consumer groups are calling on the EU to set ambitious targets per country for the deployment of electric vehicle charging points. In a common letter, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Transport & Environment (T&E) and the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) asked the EU climate, transport, industry and energy commissioners to use this year’s revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure law to require 1 million public charging points across the bloc in 2024, and 3 million in 2029.
Setting targets will send a strong signal to consumers that the number of public charging points will keep pace with the surging sales of electric vehicles which Europe is witnessing, the letter said. It would also grant much needed certainty to the automotive industry but also grid operators, re-charging infrastructure operators and transport companies. The proposal would also aid the creation of one million jobs across the continent and help the EU meet its climate goals.
William Todts, executive director at T&E, said: “If we're serious about global warming, we need to go electric fast. To speed up the transition we need ubiquitous and easy charging not just in Norway and the Netherlands but all across Europe. EV charging targets per country are a great way to make that happen and the Commission should stop dragging its feet over this.”
Oliver Zipse, ACEA president and CEO of BMW, said: “European automakers are driving the transition to e-mobility and are literally outperforming each other in launching new electric vehicles. But the success of this huge effort is seriously threatened by the delayed installation of charging infrastructure in the EU. The EU Commission quickly needs to take action and set binding targets for the ramp-up of charging infrastructure in the member states. Otherwise, even the current reduction targets in fighting climate change are at risk. In addition to public charging infrastructure, we also need to put a stronger focus on workplace and home charging.”
Monique Goyens, director general at BEUC, said: “It must be as easy to charge an electric car as it is to fuel a petrol one. Having sufficient – and convenient – charging infrastructure is the highway towards consumer confidence and uptake of electric cars. Policymakers should therefore tackle practical concerns, such as displaying charging tariffs in price per kilowatt hour and allowing commonly available payment methods.”
The targets should be allocated to each country based on a simple and fair methodology that takes into account factors like how much private charging is available, the letter said. The number of publicly accessible chargers should increase in line with the number of EVs on the road, the groups also proposed. The EU should also address the growing needs of EV drivers with no or little access to private charging, as well as electric taxis and ride-hailing services, by setting targets for fast and ultra-fast chargers in urban areas. The law should also set a target of around 1,000 hydrogen stations by 2029.
The groups also called on the European Commission to propose replacing the directive with a regulation as it would help harmonise re-charging standards, payment methods for consumers, tariff transparency, maintenance, and other issues across the EU common market. A regulation would also allow for swift implementation of the new targets while a directive would require their transposition into national law, which can take years.