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Access to electric vehicle charging stations in Europe is “a major concern”. How do countries compare?

The dramatic increase in the number of electric vehicles in Europe points to a shift away from fossil fuel cars. But access to charging is a significant concern.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are becoming increasingly popular in Europe. In 2022, the number of fully electric passenger cars in the EU increased by 58% compared to 2021, from 1.9 million to 3.1 million.


Between 2019 and 2022, this figure increased by more than 400 percent.

This is an extremely important milestone for energy in terms of the transition to net zero, as the impact of climate change has been particularly evident with increasing temperature changes in recent years.

Although electric passenger cars and other electric vehicles will be key to decarbonizing the transportation sector, more extensive charging infrastructure is needed to encourage their adoption.

“Access to charging is a significant concern,” according to a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published in June. underlines.

A third of people surveyed in six European countries – France, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands – said there was no electric car charging station within 3km of their home. home, according to the 2022 OECD study. Survey on environmental policies and individual behavior change.

This rate ranged from 22 percent in the Netherlands to 43 percent in France, closely followed by Belgium (42 percent).

In contrast, 24 percent of respondents in these European countries said they were unsure whether or not charging stations were available near their home.

A quarter of them said there were charging stations available at home, work or in parking lots, and 18 percent said electric car charging stations were available within 3 km from their home.

Some data suggests that range anxiety and other concerns about using an electric car largely dissipate when a vehicle owner switches to an electric car, according to the recent report from the OECD entitled “To what extent is household behavior ecological? Sustainable choices in an era of overlapping crises report (which was based on the 2022 survey mentioned above).

Public charging infrastructure is growing rapidly in the EU

The extent of public charging infrastructure is key to increasing the prevalence of electric vehicles. The deployment of charging infrastructure has accelerated significantly in recent years, according to data from ChargeUp Europe.

In 2022, the number of public charging stations in the EU increased by 48% compared to 2021, from 320,000 to 475,000. Between 2022 and 2022, it increased by more than 150 percent.


The Netherlands is a leader in public charging infrastructure

Public charging infrastructure varies significantly across Europe. The Netherlands is by far a leader in several areas; Charging stations per 100,000 inhabitants are an important indicator for assessing a country’s capacity.

In 2022, the Netherlands had 577 charging points per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Luxembourg (308), Austria (208) and Sweden (228), according to ChargeUp Europe.

Denmark (200), Belgium (172) and France (107) also reported more charging points than the EU average (106 per 100,000 inhabitants).

There were 99 charging stations in Germany, a country in particular that is steadily increasing its investment in this sector.

Twelve EU countries had fewer than 40 charging stations per 100,000 inhabitants.


A quarter of all EU charging stations are in the Netherlands

In 2022, the Netherlands had the highest number of public charging stations with 111,721, followed by Germany (87,674) and France (83,317).

This suggests that 24 percent of all public charging stations in the EU are located in the Netherlands, and that the combined share of these three countries was 59 percent of the total for 2022.

No other country has reported more than 50,000 charging points.

While the number of public charging stations increased in the EU from 320,000 to 475,000 between 2021 and 2022, some countries have also improved their infrastructure, playing a key role in this overall increase.

France has installed more than 50,000 charging stations in 2022

In 2022, the number of public charging stations in France increased from 30,000 to 83,317 compared to 2021, with the installation of 53,317 additional charging stations.


Spain also reported an increase of 28,480, from 5,900 to 34,380 charging points.

The increases were 22,074 in Germany and 11,784 in Austria.

Countries with the lowest number of charging stations also saw significant growth in their overall percentages, such as 264 percent in Bulgaria and 201 percent in Slovakia.

The chart above also indicates a decline in public charging infrastructure in some countries.

This is due to either inconsistencies in the data or a greater proportion of charging stations having previously been identified as publicly accessible and then reclassified as private charging stations, according to ChargeUp Europe data.

Workplace charging plays a key role

ChargeUp Europe suggests that workplace charging is the most popular way to charge electric vehicles away from home.

Access to convenient and affordable workplace charging may be particularly important in encouraging people living in multi-family homes (such as apartment buildings) and those who do not have a dedicated charging location to become drivers of electric vehicles.

As cars are often parked at work for long periods during the day, workplaces are ideal places for smart charging, while benefiting from cheaper electricity rates and more.

According to the OECD report, communicating the coverage of already existing infrastructure, as well as any planned developments in the future and the timing of their delivery could help raise public awareness and help households consider future purchases of electric vehicles.

Which countries sell the most electric passenger cars?

The share of fully electric passenger cars among newly registered passenger cars is an important factor indicator demonstrating how far countries are progressing towards zero emissions.

In the EU, 12.1% of all newly registered passenger cars were fully electric in 2022, according to ACEA data.

Norway is an exception, with the share of fully electric cars among all newly registered cars being 4 in 5 (79%).

Other Scandinavian countries are also particularly successful in moving away from fossil fuels.

Norway was followed by neighboring Sweden (33 percent), then Iceland (31 percent), the Netherlands (24 percent), Denmark (21 percent) and Finland (18 percent). .


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