EU countries ready for the boom of EV chargers after Convid Pandemic


With the European Union gradually announcing the end of COVID-19, the European auto market has finally restarted with difficulty. In the face of the auto industry, which has been hit hard by the epidemic, European governments have recently introduced stimulus policies, and these policies pay special attention to new energy vehicles. In addition to the "overweight" of electric vehicle purchase subsidies, European governments have also actively allocated funds to vigorously promote the construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.



On the one hand, the sales of electric vehicles in Europe continue to grow, and the current public charging stations may not be able to meet the needs of future users; on the other hand, consumers' "range anxiety" about electric vehicles is also one of the main reasons for affecting car purchases. Therefore, speeding up the construction of charging stations has become a top priority. The European Union and many European countries have also listed accelerating the construction of public charging stations as one of the priorities of this round of stimulus policies for the automobile market. At the end of May 2021, the European Commission proposed an economic recovery plan with a total amount of 750 billion euros to deal with the serious impact caused by the epidemic. The European Commission has also drawn up a list of priority development projects, including promoting the renewal of electric vehicles and significantly increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations.


The European Commission has proposed to install 1 million public charging stations by 2025, compared with less than 200000 at present. However, both ACEA and Europa said that the figure was far lower than the actual demand. According to the research report released by the European Transportation and Environment (T&E) environmental protection organization, at present, the number of charging stations in the EU is 185000. According to the proportion of at least one charging station for every seven electric vehicles, the current number of charging stations is sufficient. However, according to previous EU estimates, the number of electric vehicles in Europe will reach 13 million by 2025, and 1.3 million public charging stations will need to be built. By 2030, the number of electric vehicles in Europe is expected to grow rapidly to 44 million, which means that in the next 10 years, Europe will need 3 million supporting public charging stations. To this end, the EU needs to invest 1.8 billion euros per year, or allocate 3% of the transportation infrastructure construction funds every year to promote the construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.


According to the German Energy and Water Industry Association (BDEW), there were 27730 charging stations in Germany as of March this year. Other EU countries are also vigorously promoting the construction of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The Austrian government has released the latest subsidy policies for electric vehicle consumption and charging infrastructure construction. The policy not only increases the subsidy for electric vehicle purchase, but also gives a subsidy of up to 15000 euros to the public charging stations built by general enterprises according to the charging capacity. It is worth mentioning that in Europe, the country with the highest density of charging stations per 100 km of electric vehicles is the Netherlands. According to the latest data, as of June this year, the number of public and semi-public charging stations in the Netherlands was 52000. The Dutch government plans to build 1.8 million public, semi public and private charging stations nationwide by 2030 to support the growing demand for electric vehicles.


Layout of automobile enterprises and transformation of oil giants

With the continuous development of the European electric vehicle market, car companies are also accelerating the layout of charging stations. Last year, South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motor announced their investment in IONITY, a joint venture established in 2017 by BMW, Ford, Daimler and Volkswagen Group (including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and other brands), which aims to establish a comprehensive fast charging network in Europe to support the launch and sales of electric vehicles by car companies. According to the plan, by the end of this year, the number of IONITY fast charging stations will be expanded to 400, with an average of at least one station every 120 kilometers on major European highways, which will greatly improve the experience of electric vehicle owners.


At the same time, many oil giants have also entered the charging field in response to the wave of the automotive industry's transformation to electrification. If estimated according to the penetration rate of electric vehicles in the next 20 years, it is estimated that 12 million public electric vehicle charging stations will be needed in the world by 2040, with great market potential. In addition, according to the prediction of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are expected to account for more than half of the global light vehicle sales by 2040. The rapid development of electrification will undoubtedly pose a threat to the survival of traditional oil enterprises. One side is the broad development prospect of the charging station market, and the other is the impact of the new energy vehicle market on the traditional oil industry. It is natural for oil giants to layout the charging station field.


Earlier this year, French oil giant Total announced that it will build 20,000 new electric vehicle charging stations in the Netherlands. It is reported that Total will provide electric vehicle charging services to 3.2 million residents in the Greater Amsterdam metropolitan area of the Netherlands, which is by far the largest electric vehicle charging station contract in Europe. It is reported that as part of the contract, Total is responsible for providing electricity to the electric vehicle charging network in the region, and 100% of it comes from renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy. In an official statement, Alexis Wolfke, President of Total Marketing and Service, said: "our goal is to operate 150000 charging stations in Europe by 2025 and become a major player in the electric vehicle industry." Previously, Total announced a partnership with ChargePoint charging point operating company in 2018 to provide comprehensive electric vehicle charging solutions and services for the UK market.


Of course, BP will not give up the opportunity to lay out charging stations in the local market. As early as June 2018, BP acquired Chargemaster, the largest charging company in the UK, changed its name to BP Chargemaster and began to layout charging stations in the UK. Among the oil giants marching into the field of charging stations, Royal Dutch Shell has made the biggest move. In 2017, it acquired NewMotion, a start-up company headquartered in the Netherlands, which had 30000 electric vehicle charging stations throughout Western Europe. In January last year, Shell acquired Greenlots, a developer of electric vehicle charging and energy management technology in Los Angeles, and entered the American charging station market. Then in October last year, Shell announced that it became the first oil company in the UK to replace gas stations with electric vehicle charging centers.


It is believed that under the policy support of governments and the joint efforts of power utilities, automobile manufacturers, oil enterprises and other forces, the construction of charging stations in Europe will usher in a climax in the next few years, which will further promote the development of the local electric vehicle market.




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