Automotive Insights – Charging ahead: accelerating the rollout of EU electric vehicle charging infrastructure

The European auto industry is investing substantially in electrification. But meeting CO2 targets isn’t just about vehicles alone, infrastructure matters. This first-of-its-kind ACEA report sheds light on the urgent need to scale up infrastructure deployment for electrically chargeable cars in Europe to avoid decarbonisation setbacks.

Fast-approaching deadlines to meet light-duty CO2- reduction targets are just around the corner. The European auto industry is playing its part by investing over €250 billion and counting in electrification and producing a diverse range of electric cars and vans. Yet, producing electric vehicles is just part of the puzzle for decarbonising road transport, policies also have a role to play in incentivising buyers to get more electric models from factories to the family home – and charging infrastructure is key. In this first in a series of new ACEA ‘Automotive Insights’ reports, we delve into the data and trends underpinning infrastructure deployment across Europe. As electric car sales outpace public charging point buildup across the continent, the EU and member states must do much more to scale up deployment or risk putting the brakes on its road transport decarbonisation goals.

10 key takeaways

  1. There were 632,423 public charging points available across the EU at the end of 2023, and around 3 million battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) on the road.
  2. In 2023, a total of around 153,000 new public charging points were installed.
  3. The European Commission is calling for 3.5 million charging points by 2030 to support the level of vehicle electrification necessary to reach the proposed 55% CO2 reduction for cars. Reaching this target would require the installation of nearly 2.9 million public charging points in the next seven years. That’s almost 410,000 per year or 7,900 per week.
  4. ACEA’s projections suggest a significantly higher demand, estimating the necessity of 8.8 million charging points by 2030. Reaching this would require 1.4 million chargers to be installed per year or 22,438 per week.
  5. Over the past seven years, sales of BEVs have outpaced the growth of the charging point network by more than threefold. Between 2017 and 2023, electric car sales increased over 18 times, while the number of public chargers in the EU grew merely sixfold during the same period.
  6. While some countries are powering ahead when it comes to infrastructure rollout, the majority are lagging. Indeed, just three EU countries covering over 20% of the EU’s surface area – the Netherlands, France, and Germany – are home to almost two-thirds (61%) of all EU charging points. The other third (39%) of all chargers is distributed throughout 24 member states, covering almost 80% of the region’s surface area.
  7. There is a strong correlation between public charging point availability and BEV sales. The list of top five countries with the highest BEV sales is broadly similar to that of the countries with the most chargers: Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Italy feature on both top five lists.
  8. Charging speed is also a major issue across the continent, as fast chargers (with a capacity of more than 22kW) make up a fraction of the EU total. Only around one in seven of all chargers (13.5%) is capable of fast charging. The majority are ‘normal’ chargers, with a capacity of 22kW or less (including many common-or-garden, low-capacity power sockets).
  9. At the end of 2023, there were 29 BEVs per fast charger in the EU and 53 BEVs and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) per fast charger.
  10. Governments across the EU need to ramp up investments in charging infrastructure and should swiftly implement the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) – bearing in mind that it sets minimum requirements only. At the same time, the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) must ensure a robust monitoring system that incentivises member states to deploy infrastructure faster.
In this first in a series of new ‘Automotive Insights’ reports, ACEA delves into the data and trends underpinning infrastructure deployment across Europe.


Reproduction of the content of this document is not permitted without the prior written consent of ACEA. Whenever reproduction is permitted, ACEA shall be referred to as source of the information. Quoting or referring to this document is permitted provided ACEA is referred to as the source of the information. 

Content type Publication
back to topback to top