ACEA Report Shows EU Needs Increase Annual Installation of EV Chargers to Meet 2030 Targets

A recent report from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has revealed a significant gap between the regional bloc’s available public EV-charging infrastructure and the amount of charging points the European Union will need to reach its carbon dioxide reduction targets. The report shows that even though electric vehicle adoption in the EU has risen by a wide margin over the past decade, public charging stations for electric vehicle drivers haven’t increased in tandem.

According to the ACEA report, electric-vehicle sales growth outpaced EV charging-station installations by three times from 2017 to 2023. Based on industry estimations, the report noted that the EU will need eight times more public-charging stations per year in the future to keep in line with EV sales growth. ACEA director general, Sigrid de Vries, said all EU member nations will need to adopt electric cars in masse to help Europe reach its carbon-dioxide reduction goals.

However, de Vries noted that such a mass transition to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) would not be possible without a widespread network of accessible public-charging stations. The executive said that the ACEA was very concerned about the fact that public-charging infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with growing battery electric vehicle sales in the past couple of years. Furthermore, de Vries said there is a risk of the “infrastructure gap” expanding much more than the European Commission expects in the future.

More than 150,000 public-EV-charging points were installed in the European Union in 2023 at an average of more than 3,000 per week, bringing the bloc’s total number of charging points to more than 630,000. Comparatively, the EU would need to install an average of close to 8,000 charging points per week, or 410,000 annually, to reach the European Commission’s goal of installing 3.5 million charging points by the end of the decade.

The ACEA’s estimates are even higher at 8.8 million charging points by 2030, requiring the installation of 1.2 million charging points annually, or more than 22,000 charging points weekly, eight times more than the current annual charging point installation rate. De Vries said access to public-charging infrastructure is essential to decarbonizing vehicular transportation. The road transport segment is one of the largest contributors to global carbon emissions due to its incessant demand for fossil fuels and tailpipe emissions from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

Cutting emissions from road transport will be a critical step toward minimizing global greenhouse-gas emissions and arresting climate change.

While electric cars can help achieve this goal, their effectiveness will be contingent on equal growth in the public charging infrastructure space. De Vries called for increased investments in public electric-vehicle charging infrastructure to bridge the infrastructure gap and bring the EU closer to achieving its climate targets.

The shortfall in the establishment of charging stations poses a challenge not only for governments but also for private companies such as ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. Ltd. (NASDAQ: SOLO) that would wish to see the uptake of EVs pick up steam. Solutions by private and government actors could come in handy to bridge this glaring gap.

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