Charging infrastructure challenges hinder the development of electromobility in Europe

Luc Williams

Ford Motor Company introduces an all-electric model Explorer produced in Cologne, Germany. Martin Sander, head of Ford's electric vehicle division in Europe, expressed serious concerns about preparing the electrical grid to support electric vehicles from the northern regions of Norway to Sicily in Italy. Sander stressed the urgent need to speed up the permitting and implementation process charging infrastructure. Without these improvements, it warned that driving electric vehicles across Europe could become impractical for customers by 2035.

Renault SA plans to launch R5 E-Tech later this year, with a starting price of around 25,000 euros ($27,300). Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault, highlighted the car's bidirectional charging function, which allows it to feed energy into the grid or into the home or household appliances. However, this feature is limited to use with the Renault charger and selected electricity suppliers with which Renault has contracts.

Common charging standard?

The above comments were made during events in Brussels, reflecting underlying concerns that have received less attention compared to efforts to reduce costs and extend battery life. The industry and regulators face complex challenges that require a limited time to resolve.

De Meo suggested that the EU could draw inspiration from the development of the European mobile telecommunications standard that led to its creation Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM).

But Klaus Müllerpresident of the German Bundesnetzagenturbelieves that the responsibility for establishing a common standard for charging electric vehicles in the EU should rest with car manufacturers and their self-regulatory bodies, and not with the 27 EU regulators.

A necessary step forward?

Tesla Inc. stands out as an automaker that has not raised complaints about its charging infrastructure. Directed by Elon Musk Tesla has the largest network of super-fast chargers in Europe, significantly ahead of its competitors.

Despite cooperation between other car manufacturers such as Ford, BMW AG and Hyundai Motor Group as part of a joint venture Ionity GmbHthere are still critical voices, especially from German manufacturers, regarding insufficient charging infrastructure.

Even in countries such as France, where significant investment has been made in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, gaps remain, particularly in semi-rural areas and departmental and national roads, underscoring the need for government action to fill them.


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