Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: May 13, 2024
Uncertain Future: European countries meet the charging infrastructure goals for 2024, but they are far from the following targets
By Lucía Colaluce

Uncertain Future: European countries meet the charging infrastructure goals for 2024, but they are far from the following targets

According to a study by T&E, most European countries have already met this year's targets set by the EU. However, to achieve the goals for 2025-2026, they will need to accelerate the installation of charging points. Who is closest to the finish line?
charging stations

According to Transport & Environment (T&), the shortage of charging points in Europe is one of the main barriers preventing citizens from transitioning to electromobility.

According to a study conducted by the organization, most European Union (EU) countries already reached their 2024 objectives for public charging infrastructure in 2023.

However, meeting the goals for 2025 and 2026 is at stake.

The achievement of these objectives is within the context of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), which came into effect on April 13.

This legislation sets annual targets for each country based on the relationship between total charging power and the number of electric vehicles (EVs) in circulation.

Which countries exceeded the percentage of public charging infrastructure deployed in 2023 relative to the EU’s planned targets?

Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Estonia, France, Croatia, Australia, Poland, and Denmark top the list.

Following them are Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Belgium, Latvia, Sweden, and Romania.

While Portugal, Hungary, and Lithuania have not yet met the targets, it is expected that they will do so before the deadline, which is December 31.

According to the T&E study, Greece and Ireland have more work to do, but they can still meet their objectives if they commit to rapidly expanding infrastructure.

Luxembourg, Cyprus, and Malta are also lagging behind, although they can easily reach the goals with modest amounts of new chargers due to the small size of their electric fleets.

“Charging is seen as one of the major barriers for people switching to electric vehicles, but the landscape is improving rapidly“, comments Fabian Sperka, T&E’s vehicle policy manager.

What’s at stake?

The table allows for reflection that currently, 19 nations are below the percentage of charging devices required for 2025.

Even based on current figures, only two countries could meet the demands imposed by the AFIR for 2026.

Regarding this, Sperka explains: “Now, governments must go beyond the strict requirements of EU objectives if they want to convince more drivers.”

And he continues: “It is necessary to install more capacity where there is real traffic, and payments should be simplified. Drastic measures against broken chargers are also necessary.”

What measures should governments implement to ensure the transition?

T&E calls on the governments of the European Union to “go beyond” the minimum targets set by the AFIR.

In this regard, they urge consideration of several key aspects to ensure adequate and efficient electric charging infrastructure.

Firstly, they emphasize the importance of anticipating future charging demand to avoid potential network congestion.

This involves strategic planning that identifies points where a significant increase in electric vehicle adoption is expected and proactively implements the necessary infrastructure.

Additionally, T&E proposes the installation of rapid charging hubs every 60 kilometers along major roads by 2025, anticipating the deadline set by AFIR for 2030.

This measure would not only facilitate long-distance travel in EVs but also promote their adoption by removing infrastructure barriers.

Another aspect they highlight is the decentralization of national charging objectives, adapting them to regional or provincial deployment of zero-emission vehicles.

This approach would allow for a more flexible and effective charging infrastructure implementation, adjusting to each geographic area’s specific needs and market evolution.

Regarding the management of existing infrastructure, they propose establishing rigorous standards for charging point operators, requiring a minimum annual uptime of 98 percent for public chargers.

This would ensure the reliability and availability of the infrastructure, minimizing downtime and maintenance issues.

Furthermore, T&E advocates for streamlining administrative and permitting procedures across the EU for Charging Point Operators (CPOs).

Finally, they suggest directing public financial support to areas where market deficits exist, such as regions needing infrastructure but not attracting private investment due to underutilization.

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