Lack of choice, rather than infrastructure hinders EVs: study

2 Mar 2018 | John McGarrity

The EU has sufficient charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and is likely to keep pace with forecast growth in the sector, said a study published this week by the Platform for Electromobility, a group that includes car manufacturers.

The findings contrast with the claims of the auto industry that growth in EVs has been hindered by a lack of charging infrastructure, and concludes that a lack of variety in models is main reason for the slow uptake.

The share that electric vehicles and other alternatively fuelled vehicles occupy as part of the overall vehicle fleet is of critical importance to biofuels producers, because the EU’s non-fossil fuel transport threshold will be shared between the sectors.

The European Parliament has proposed that 12% of overall fuel consumption should be from alternative fuels by 2030, (Member States favour 14%) but a high uptake of electric vehicles would mean a relatively small slice of the pie for biofuels, particularly those that are ‘first generation’ or crop-based.

“National plans for rollout of public charging infrastructures by 2020 EU-wide are also expected to keep pace with the anticipated growth in the number of vehicles. There will also be sufficient fast chargers alongside the principal highway routes with at least one fast recharger every 40km,” the electromobility report found.

As a result, there is not likely to be any widespread shortage of recharging points if Member States deliver on their plans – although there may be local areas of over and under supply, the report said.

The report acknowledged that after 2020 there will need to be a significant further investment, beyond existing plans, to match the number of EVs expected to be on the road, adding that further EU funding would be essential, particularly in less developed markets.

Data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association found that in the final quarter of 2017, the 227,378 alternatively-powered cars accounted for 6.7% of total passenger car sales, while electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs) made up 1.9% (around 65,000) of all cars sold across the EU.

Sales of fully-electric cars in Europe are set to rise to 200,000 this year, according to predictions from LMC Automotive, with demand for battery-powered vehicles forecast to reach 600,000 by 2020 and rise to nearly 1 million by 2022.