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European countries urged to accelerate electric vehicle infrastructure plans

The EU needs to accelerate its electro-mobility (e-mobility) revolution according to the organisations that will lead it in the coming decade.

The diverse group – including some of the most well known companies and non-governmental organisations in Europe - wants EU member states to show much more urgency in their plans to harness the diverse range of technologies needed to make clean electricity the dominant power source for transport, both between and within European cities.

A joined-up and accessible network of charging stations, including normal, fast and smart charging, is a necessity if Europeans are to benefit from the huge strides in e-mobility technologies.

Under the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive 2014, member states were required to submit their plans for supporting charging infrastructure by the end of 2016 – but around half of them still have not done so.

Nicolas Erb, chairman of the Platform on Electro-mobility, said: "Europe has a huge opportunity to win on so many fronts with e-mobility.

"For a start, we’ll recover the €1 billion or so a day Europe currently spends on high-polluting oil; we’ll hugely increase access to mobility; we’ll create high-quality jobs and we’ll save countless lives by cutting air pollution.

"Just look at railways, from trams to high-speed trains, which are already largely electrified and much more energy-efficient than other modes.

"E-mobility may be a quiet revolution but it’s a crucial one. Besides metros and tramways, there are now more than two million electric vehicles on the world’s roads – so we are at a tipping point – but we need to change-up a gear to really make it happen. And that’s what the 25 organisations that form our platform are calling for today."

The Platform’s members are also pressing member states for:

  • More charging stations: Meet fast growing consumer needs by committing to more publicly accessible charging stations – including along major roads as well as in urban areas – and by supporting the set-up of infrastructure for electric buses in public transport
  • More flexibility: Encourage innovation by allowing for more flexibility on connector requirements for all car-charging stations and for electric buses – ensuring that European citizens and public authorities have full confidence in the viability of their vehicles.
  • Simpler permitting and financing: Promote best practice for e-mobility by simplifying permitting procedures and coordinating financial incentives across Europe
  • Greater provision for vehicle charging from buildings: Most electric vehicles recharge during the day while a vehicle is parked (e.g. at home or at work). So policymakers should include greater provisions for electric vehicle charging in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. At the same time, permitting and approval procedures for existing buildings should be simplified to allow owners and tenants to deploy recharging points.
  • Increased resources for Connecting Europe Facility: Use the mid-term revision of the European budget (Multi-Annual Financial Framework) to increase the resources for further electrification of all transport modes
  • Genuine Multimodality at the heart of eMobility strategy: generate huge synergies across the whole economy by ensuring that electrified public and private transport modes (from metros to e-bikes) are fully integrated into a low carbon energy system  

Launched at the end of last year, the Platform on Electro-mobility is the first time such a diverse alliance of industry, operators, infrastructure managers, transport users, cities and civil society organisations has come together around a single vision – the electrification of transport – of achieving numerous, identified benefits: emissions reductions, efficiency gains, better consumer services, job creation and better health. 

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