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EU should target 1M EV public chargers by 2024, 3M by 2029 say carmakers, environmentalists and consumer groups

In a common letter, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Transport & Environment (T&E) and the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) asked the EU climate, transport, industry and energy commissioners to use this year’s revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID) to require 1 million public charging points across the bloc in 2024, and 3 million in 2029.

Adopted in 2014, AFID (Directive 2014/94/EU) creates the framework for the development of an alternative fuels infrastructure in Europe, including electricity for electric vehicles as well as hydrogen for fuel cells and LNG for shipping.

Setting targets will send a strong signal to consumers that the number of public charging points will keep pace with the surging sales of electric vehicles which Europe is witnessing, the letter said. It would also grant much needed certainty to the automotive industry and to grid operators, re-charging infrastructure operators and transport companies as well. The proposal would also aid the creation of one million jobs across the continent and help the EU meet its climate goals, according to the groups.

European automakers are driving the transition to e-mobility and are literally outperforming each other in launching new electric vehicles. 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.

—Oliver Zipse, ACEA president and CEO of BMW

The targets should be allocated to each country based on a simple and fair methodology that takes into account factors like how much private charging is available, the letter said. The number of publicly accessible chargers should increase in line with the number of EVs on the road, the groups also proposed.

The EU should also address the growing needs of EV drivers with no or little access to private charging, as well as electric taxis and ride-hailing services, by setting targets for fast and ultra-fast chargers in urban areas. The law should also set a target of around 1,000 hydrogen stations by 2029.

The groups also called on the European Commission to propose replacing the directive with a regulation as it would help harmonize re-charging standards, payment methods for consumers, tariff transparency, maintenance, and other issues across the EU 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.


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