The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Transport & Environment (T&E) and the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) have jointly published a letter asking the EU climate, transport, industry and energy commissioners to use this year’s revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure law to require one million public charging points by 2024, and three million charging points and around 1,000 hydrogen stations by 2029.
It was stated that setting these targets would be a strong message to consumers that the number of public charging points will be able to keep pace with the surge of electric vehicle sales in Europe, which accounted for 10.5% of the market in 2020, while granting certainty to the automotive industry, grid and re-charging infrastructure operators and transport companies. The proposal would also lead to the creation of one million jobs across the continent and help the EU meet its climate goals.
“European automakers are driving the transition to e-mobility and are literally outperforming each other in launching new electric vehicles,” stated Oliver Zipse, ACEA president and CEO of BMW. “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.”
The letter stated that targets should be in proportion to the number of EVs on the road and allocated to each country based on a fair methodology, taking into account factors such as how much private charging is currently available. The growing needs of EV drivers with no or little access to private charging, as well as electric taxis and ride-hailing services, should also be addressed by implementing targets for fast chargers in urban areas.
“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,” commented Monique Goyens, Director General at BEUC.
The groups also called on the European Commission to propose swapping 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 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.
“If we’re serious about global warming, we need to go electric fast,” stated William Todts, Executive Director at T&E. “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.”
The letter in its entirety can be found on the ACEA website.