This Charging Infrastructure Project Can Boost EV Sales

A better charging infrastructure is required to meet the European environmental objectives. This is the message from car manufacturer association Acea after it became known that the CO2 emissions of new cars have increased in Europe. More EV sales will change this pattern, provided there are more charging points.

Average CO2 emissions from new cars were 118.5 grams of CO2 per kilometer in 2017, an increase of 0.4 percent compared to 2016. On the 4th op April the European Environment Agency (EEA) published data that confirms the provisional 2017 figures. CO2 emissions are forecasted to further increase in 2018, due to ongoing petrol car sales. The solution in CO2 reduction is evident: more electric cars instead of fuel cars, as long as the infrastructure is covered

Rising emissions

The trend of rising CO2 emissions contributed to increasing petrol car sales and the declining sales of diesel cars as a result of the Volkswagen diesel scandal. Petrol cars however, emit more CO2 emissions than equivalent diesel cars. In 2017 petrol fueled cars became the most sold car type in the EU, overtaking diesel for the first year since 2009. Latest data shows that the diesel car market share fell by 5% last year (from 49.9% to 44.8%). This drop was largely offset by an increase in petrol car sales, with even higher CO2 emissions. Petrol now accounts for almost half of new passenger car sales (up from 45.8% to 49.4%). If this trend continues, the CO2 emission will also continue to rise.


The shift from diesel to petrol is now having a tangible impact on the CO2 performance of Europe’s new car fleet. According to the car manufacturers, governments must take their responsibility as even the 2020 target is at stake.


The market share of electric vehicles (EV’s) rose only moderately (from 1.1% to 1.5%), in line with the overall growth of car sales. Substantial investments are being made in the development of electric cars, but due to trailing investments in the charging infrastructure, sales are lagging. Consumers experience a lack of charging infrastructure as a threshold to purchase an EV. While a decrease in CO2 emissions relies heavily on the sale of EVs.


Car manufacturers are sending a clear message: Member states must step up their investments to ensure an EU-wide network of charging infrastructure. Without these efforts, consumers will never be impelled to switch to electric cars on a large scale.

Nowadays, there are over 150,000 public charging points for electric cars available in the EU. At least 2.8 million will be needed by 2030, according to conservative estimates by the European Commission. That is an almost 20-fold increase within the next 12 years


The Netherlands is one of the EU countries with the most charging options and EV sales are rising considerably. The result is immediately reflected in the figures: the average CO2 emission is therefore lower than the European average, namely 108.3 g CO2/km. But for example in Romania there are less than 150 charging points in all of the country. Their average emission is 120.6 g CO2/km.

Business initiatives

Although it seems as if very little is done about loading options, quite the opposite is true. However, it is not the governments taking the lead.  BMW, Daimler, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche started the joint venture Ionity in 2016 to jointly build a network of fast charging stations along major highways in Europe. The German Hubject initiative also creates a European network of charging points.

These initiatives alone are - according to Acea - not enough to boost sales of EVs and to reduce CO2 emissions.