T&E: deployment of European charging infrastructure on track

The latest analysis from Transport & Environment reveals that the roll-out of charging infrastructure is proceeding as planned. Last month, several car makers complained about insufficiencies hampering EV adoption, but the numbers show that the EU countries live up to their promises.

The deployment of charging infrastructure in the EU has been successful, according to the report from Transport & Environment. It notes a rapid increase in both slow (AC) and fast (DC) charging points across Europe. As of the end of 2023, over 630,000 charging points had been installed, aiming towards the European Commission’s Green Deal initiative target of 3 million by 2030.

Exemplary growth in Belgium

In fact, most EU countries already meet their 2024 target, and the numbers show the absence of a classic geographical divide between north-south and east-west. Even though BEV adoption occurs at a slower pace across the Mediterranean countries, the needed infrastructure isn’t lagging. It might come as a surprise that Bulgaria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic (in percentual order) are the three countries overstretching their targets.

With 42,143 charging points operational in 2023, Belgium ranks 17th on the list. However, the achieved performance is exemplary, as the network of slow chargers doubled over a period of twelve months (41,903), while fast chargers almost tripled (2,460). With 56.4 electric cars per station, Belgium is well on track. As for implementation,

France is the best performer among the big countries, with the number of fast chargers having exploded almost fivefold. In absolute numbers, Germany has the largest network of DC chargers (22,921). Portugal, Hungary, Lithuania, Greece, Luxemburg, Ireland, Cyprus, and Malta are the countries not meeting the EU target.

Enough capacity?

The outlook for Europe is that it can install 1 million charging points by 2025 and reach its first milestone. This positive evolution is due to investment backed by the EU, which approved its Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) playbook to push a new energy network across member states.

It demands a fast charging station every 60 kilometers and one hydrogen station every 150 kilometers, as well as rules about implementation (price transparency, among others). The approved AFIR went live last Saturday.

According to Transport & Environment, these statistics bust the myth that the electric fleet is outpacing the available network, hampering the adoption of battery-powered cars. This was the case at the end of 2021, but the trend has been reversed.

According to Bloomberg, last month, several automakers pointed toward charging infrastructure as one of the scapegoats for stalling BEV shares in deliveries. However, their prime concern was grid capacity. Apart from installing the necessary stations, utility companies must provide them with enough electricity at peak moments, a prerequisite not guaranteed by the absolute number of available stations.


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