The auto industry is already placing hundreds of models of low- and zero-emission vehicles on the market, but has serious concerns about the slow deployment of the infrastructure needed to charge and refuel these vehicles. Indeed, sales of electrically-chargeable cars increased 10-fold over the past five years, reaching 1.7m units last year (or 18% of the total market). The number of public chargers in the EU grew by 2.5 times over the same period.
According to new cross-industry research based on analysis by McKinsey, up to 6.8m public charging points would be required across the EU by 2030 to reach the proposed 55% CO2 reduction for passenger cars. This figure is almost twice that put forward by the European Commission in its Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) proposal, which is now under negotiation in the European Parliament and Council.
This means that up to 14,000 public charging points for all vehicle segments would need to be installed EU-wide every week – compared to under 2,000 per week currently.
“The transition to zero is a long-term race,” stated ACEA President and CEO of BMW Group, Oliver Zipse. “The key challenge now is to convince all member states to pick up the pace in deploying the required infrastructure. We absolutely need an ambitious conclusion of the AFIR proposal, both in terms of its timing and the targets it sets for each EU country.”
Although sizeable investments will be required at the outset, these represent just a fraction of the total investments into comparable infrastructure projects – and would bring huge environmental benefits. Indeed, the new research paper estimates the annual costs for public charging infrastructure at €8bn – around 16% of investment into 5G and high-speed internet networks.
The locations, space and power output levels needed for heavy-duty vehicle infrastructure are substantially different to those for passenger cars. According to the research paper, trucks will require 279,000 charging points by 2030, of which 84% will be in fleet hubs. The remaining charging points will be predominantly public, fast along-highway (36,000) and public overnight charging points (9,000).