Alarm of charging stations for electric cars in the European Union: “8.8 million are needed”


By John

«Between 2017 and 2023, sales of electric cars in the EU grew three times faster than the installation of charging points. Looking ahead, the EU will need eight times as many per year by 2030.”

This is what we read in a study by the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Acea). According to the EU Commission, 3.5 million charging points should be installed by 2030, almost three times the most recent annual installation rate. However, Acea estimates that 8.8 million will be needed by 2030: «To achieve this figure it would be necessary to install 1.2 million charging points per year (or more than 22,000 per week)».

«To achieve the ambitious European objectives of reducing Co2 emissions, the mass adoption of electric cars is necessary in all countries. This will not happen without widespread availability of public charging infrastructure across the region,” said ACEA director general Sigrid de Vries, presenting the study. Last year, we read in the research, a total of 150 thousand public charging points were installed in the EU.

At the end of 2023, there were just over 632 thousand charging points in the Old Continent. A figure that is too low, which if compared with that of China becomes alarming. In the Land of the Dragon in 2022, according to the study, there were 1.8 million electrical sockets for vehicles, far more than the 1.3 million installed in the rest of the world. Europe pales in comparison to China but not in comparison to the USA, where the charging points – we read in the study – according to data from May 2023 were just over 18 thousand.

If we look at the individual member countries, the Acea study first of all highlights one fact: 61% of European charging points are concentrated in just three states: the Netherlands, Germany and France. The five countries with the highest number of charging stations are, in order: the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and Italy. While at the bottom of the ranking we find Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Cyprus and Malta.

However, the size of the country and its population must be taken into account. Thus, based on the data of charging points per 1,000 inhabitants the podium changes. The Netherlands continues to lead, followed by Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden. However, if you look at the number of sockets for electric cars every ten kilometers of road, Sweden leaves the top five and Portugal enters. According to the study by the Automobile Manufacturers Association “there is a strong correlation between the availability of public charging points and sales of electric vehicles (Battery Electric Vehicles).

The list of the top five countries with the highest BEV sales is substantially similar to that of the countries with the highest number of charging stations: Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy are present in both rankings.” «Charging speed – we read in the document – is another important problem across the continent, as fast charging points (with a capacity greater than 22 kW) represent a fraction of the EU total. Only one charger in seven (13.5%) is capable of fast charging.”