Electric cars: Half of all chargers in EU concentrated in just two countries

Brussels, 22 June 2022 – New data analysis from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) shows that half of all charging points for electric cars in the European Union are concentrated in only two countries – the Netherlands (90,000 chargers) and Germany (60,000).

These two countries make up less than 10% of the entire EU surface area. The other half of all chargers are scattered throughout the remaining 25 countries, covering 90% of the region’s surface area.

The gap between countries at the top and bottom of the rankings is massive. The Netherlands – the country with the most infrastructure – has almost 1,600 times more charging points than the country with the least infrastructure (Cyprus, with just 57 charging points). Indeed, the Dutch alone have as many chargers as 23 member states combined.

When it comes to the distribution of infrastructure, there is a clear split between central and eastern European countries on the one hand and western European countries on the other. For instance, a sizeable country like Romania – some six times larger than the Netherlands – only has 0.4% of all the EU’s charging points.

Although there has been a strong increase in the number of charging points in the EU over the past five years (+180%), the total number (307,000) falls far short of what is required.

To meet CO2 targets, sales of electric vehicles will need to pick up massively in all EU countries. A recent study shows that up to 6.8m public charging points would be required by 2030 to reach the proposed 55% CO2 reduction for cars – meaning that we need to see over 22 times growth in less than 10 years.

The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) – proposed by the European Commission last year – is meant to help address the situation. However, its ambition level is completely insufficient, says ACEA.

“While some countries are powering ahead when it comes to infrastructure rollout, the majority are lagging behind,” stated ACEA Director General, Eric-Mark Huitema. “The stark disparities demonstrate the need for strong AFIR targets that are harmonised across all EU member states.”

“We urge policy makers to reinforce AFIR so that it can achieve the aim of building up a dense European network of charging stations, spanning from north to south and east to west.”

Top 5: Countries with MOST chargers

  1. Netherlands (90,284)
  2. Germany (59,410)
  3. France (37,128)
  4. Sweden (25,197)
  5. Italy (23,543)

Top 5: Countries with LEAST chargers

  1. Cyprus (57)
  2. Malta (98)
  3. Lithuania (207)
  4. Estonia (385)
  5. Latvia (420)

While some countries are powering ahead when it comes to infrastructure rollout, the majority are lagging behind.

Notes for editors

  • ‘Electric car’ = electrically-chargeable cars (battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles).
  • All data on charging infrastructure are from the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) and are the latest full year figures (2021): https://alternative-fuels-observatory.ec.europa.eu/transport-mode/road/european-union-eu27/country-comparison
  • The information in this press release will be published as part of the 2022 edition of ACEA’s statistical report, ‘Making the transition to zero-emission mobility’, at the end of June.
  • This annual report monitors the market uptake of alternatively-powered cars and vans, as well as the availability of infrastructure, over a five-year period (2017-2021). It also makes a number of correlations, analysing the influence of certain factors – such as national income or the number of charging points per 100km of road – on the market uptake of alternatively-powered vehicles.

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit www.acea.auto for more information about ACEA, and follow us on www.twitter.com/ACEA_auto or www.linkedin.com/company/ACEA/.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, cm@acea.auto, +32 485 88 66 47.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.7 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.6% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €398.4 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €76.3 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €58.8 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 32% of total EU spending.
Content type Press release
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