The member states of the European Union must step up investments into electric vehicle infrastructure, with up to 14,000 public EV charging points needing to be installed EU-wide every week to meet future demand, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, or ACEA, said March 28.
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Currently under 2,000 public EV charging points are installed in the EU weekly.
The call for more investment was supported by new cross-industry research based on analysis by consulting firm McKinsey, which found that up to 6.8 million public charging points would be required across the EU by 2030 to reach the proposed 55% CO2 reduction for passenger cars.
This figure was almost twice that put forward by the European Commission in its Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) proposal, which was under negotiation in the European Parliament and Council, the ACEA said.
The research estimated the costs for public charging infrastructure at Eur8 billion/year ($8.8 billion/year), which was around 16% of the investment into 5G and high-speed internet networks.
"Although sizeable investments will be required at the outset, these represent just a fraction of the total investments into comparable infrastructure projects -- and would bring huge environmental benefits," the ACEA said.
The sales of electrically-chargeable cars in the EU have increased 10-fold over the past five years, reaching 1.7 million units, or 18% of total market share, in 2021, according to the ACEA. The number of public chargers in the EU grew by 2.5 times over the same period.
Concerns about slow deployment
"The auto industry is already placing hundreds of models of low and zero-emission vehicles on the market, but has serious concerns about the slow deployment of the infrastructure needed to charge and refuel these vehicles," the ACEA said.
"The transition to zero is a long-term race," ACEA President and BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse said.
"The key challenge now is to convince all member states to pick up the pace in deploying the required infrastructure. We absolutely need an ambitious conclusion of the AFIR proposal, both in terms of its timing and the targets it sets for each EU country," he added.
In the EU's 2016 low-emission mobility strategy, it stated that it aimed to make EV charging as easy as filling a conventional vehicle tank.
The EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 90% by 2050, compared to 1990, by increasing the number of zero-emissions vehicles on the roads to around 13 million by 2025, at least 30 million by 2030 and to a majority fleet by 2050.
Plug-in light duty EV sales in Western Europe are expected to reach 7.5 million units in 2030, up from 2.2 million units in 2021, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights.
The EU is not the only region requiring new EV charging points.
On March 25, the UK Government published it EV infrastructure strategy to expand public EV charge points by 10-fold to 300,000 by 2030.
This will help it reach its goal of ending the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030 and its aim of all new cars and vans being fully zero emissions at the tailpipe by 2035.
On the same day, BP announced it would be investing GBP1 billion ($1.3 billion) over 10 years in expanding EV charging points across the UK.