EU's electric vehicles charging infrastructure not quick enough: auditors

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EU's electric vehicles charging infrastructure not quick enough: auditors

The EU's deployment of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is not fast enough to meet the EU targets, EU auditors said on Tuesday.

The European Court of Auditors looked at how the European Commission manages member states in expanding electrical charging infrastructure as well as how it is funded by the EU.

It found that availability of public charging stations varies substantially between Member States and that payment systems are not harmonised, forcing drivers to use different subscriptions or payment methods to charge their cars if they travel in different EU countries.

Last year, one in every 10 cars sold in the EU was electrically chargeable, but the charging infrastructure is unevenly accessible across the EU said Ladislav Balko, member of the ECA responsible for the report.

The Commission has set a target to have 1 million charging points by 2025 and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 90% from 1990 levels by 2050.

The number of charging points in the 27 EU nations and the UK increased to around 250,000 a year in 2014 from about 34,000 to 36,000 in September 2020.

There is a significant risk that the target of 1 million public charging points would be missed by 2025 if the deployment continues to follow current trends, the auditors said.

An estimated 150,000 new points would be needed each year- almost 3,000 a week to close the gap between countries.

Between 2019 and 2025, carmakers forecast a sixfold increase in the production of electric vehicles in Europe, reaching over 4 million cars and vans a year, representing more than a fifth of the total EC car production volumes in Europe.

The European Commission has set a target of at least 30 million zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and largely zero-emission car fleet by 2050. That compares to the roughly two million currently registered in the EU.

Auditors drove more than 2,000 km in an electric vehicle between Germany, France and Italy to test EU charging infrastructure. Overall, they said their experience was positive and managed to charge their cars in all the stations.

But the report warned that drivers lack long-time information, such as when the chargers on their route are faulty or have very faulty queues.

Around a quarter of the greenhouse gases in the EU come from transport, mainly road transport.

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