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EDF wants to become European EV charging market leader by 2022

French multi-national utility Electricité de France SA is aiming to become the market leader in the European electric vehicle charging sector by 2022 by operating 75,000 charging points and powering 600,000 EVs across France, the U.K., Italy and Belgium.

The goals, set out in its Electric Mobility Plan on Oct. 10, would equate to 30% of those markets, EDF said. The company currently operates 5,000 charging points in France through subsidiary Sodetrel and is planning to start offering fully integrated solutions in the other three countries from next year. In addition to deploying the charging points, EDF customers will have access to 250,000 terminals in 2022, compared with 60,000 across Europe currently.

The plan also highlights electric vehicles' future role as batteries that can balance load on national grids during peak demand. EDF said the company wants to operate 4,000 smart charging points by 2020.

"Electric mobility will be experiencing sustained growth in the coming years," the company said in a statement. "The transportation sector is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and, in view of these facts, low-carbon electricity is the future's solution for clean transportation. With an energy mix of which 87% is CO2-free, the EDF Group has a major role to play."

Electric vehicle deployment in Europe is expected to increase rapidly in the coming years, although specific estimates vary widely. EU environment ministers on Oct. 10 agreed to tighter CO2 emission targets for cars and vans by 2030, as well as incentive mechanisms to drive the adoption of zero- and low-emission vehicles.

As part of the plan, EDF also announced a slew of partnerships, including with two start-ups operating in the EV charging space in the U.S. and Germany, as well as carmakers Renault SA, Nissan International SA, Toyota Motor Corp. and Valeo SA, to develop shared offerings including around smart charging solutions, servicing remote areas and battery technology.

EDF previously released two major energy transition initiatives, a 30-GW solar plan in 2017 and a 10-GW battery storage plan in March, both for delivery by 2035.