A joint letter with a range of signatories from auto manufacturer, environmental and consumer advocate lobbies called upon the EC to ramp up electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The European Commission recently received a joint letter from three lobbies – the car industry, environmentalists and consumer advocates – urging the institution to install a million public charging points for electric vehicles across the European Union. The lobbies want the Commission to expand this target to 3 million charging points by the end of this decade.
The goal set by the lobbies certainly sounds ambitious. If the Commission commits to installing a million charging points by 2024, it will require speeding up the current rate of expansion of Europe’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure by almost four times.
However, this proposition makes strategic sense in a region that has embraced investment in electric transportation, propelled in part by increasingly austere emissions targets. In the past three years, governments and industries in Europe have invested around €60 billion in e-mobility. This was highlighted by the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), and the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), some of the letter’s many signatories. “Delivering the necessary recharging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure to underpin a zero-emission mobility system should be at the heart of the EU’s industrial strategy as it will be fundamental to building a resilient automotive industry and the e-mobility value chains of tomorrow,” they wrote.
The letter assumes new significance since the European Commission has been working to reform a 2014 directive on alternative fuel infrastructure, also known as AFID. The Commission began gathering consultation from the public in the first half of 2020. It has declared that building back greener is key to the EU’s pandemic recovery plan. Keeping this in mind, the signatories strongly recommended that the Commission ensure all member states commit to binding targets to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It urged the Commission to convert the directive into a set of enforceable regulations. A directive is open to legal interpretation by member states, whereas regulations must be implemented uniformly. The signatories were confident that this standardization would result in regularised recharging and refueling practices, seamless payment and the creation of almost a million relevant jobs.