Munich, 15 March 2023 – More and more electric vehicles (EVs) drive onto European roads everyday, expected to reach around 41 million by 2030. To charge these EVs, a McKinsey report found that the number of public charge points in Europe will need to grow 100-fold from 340,000 in 2021 to 3.4 million by 2030. Are we on track to achieve this growth? Where are the gaps and the opportunities? In its new Charging Report 2023, Europe's leading smart energy company, gridX, uncovers the major EV charging trends in the 25 countries of the European Union, as well as Switzerland, Norway and the United Kingdom.
gridX analyzed publicly available data of around 480,000 public charge points across Europe. The result? The comprehensive data set painted a similar picture in most countries: too few public charge points being installed too slowly. Norway, however, is one major exception, playing in an EV charging league of its own. Norway’s high share of fast chargers foreshadows the path for the rest of Europe. Fast charging will be crucial to increase overall charging capacity in Europe. gridX’s Charging Report 2023 breaks down dedicated data of 11 countries to compare e-mobility landscapes across the continent.
Europe’s countries lag behind Norway
Norway is a distant leader when it comes to electric cars and public charging networks: the country’s number of EVs per capita is five times higher than Luxembourg, the second-ranked country in the list. Norway’s number of public charge points per capita is also 74 percent higher than the next country, which is once again Luxembourg. The Scandinavians show the world how e-mobility already works today and at the same time set high power charging (HPC) – chargers over 100 kilowatts (kW) power – as a trend that motivates other countries to follow suit. The charging networks of the other 27 countries analyzed are significantly less widespread. While Norway boasts 50 charge points per 100 kilometers of motorway, the Netherlands, for example, which ranked second in the study, has just 18. In the UK and Belgium, the public charging infrastructure is still a patchwork, each with 11 charge points per 100km of motorway, while countries like France (9), Germany (7), Denmark (7) and Italy (5) lag further behind.
Huge differences in charging speed
The charging speed also varies greatly from country to country. While the median speed of chargers in Europe is 22 kilowatts (kW), the Netherlands (11 kW) and France (18 kW) are far below this, with a quarter of France’s public chargers even below 2 kW. As far as HPC is concerned, Norway leads the way with chargers above 100 kW constituting 15 percent of all public charge points in the country. Germany seems to have heard the call and is close behind with 12 percent. In contrast, lower rates in the UK (5 percent), France (5 percent), Belgium (3 percent) and the Netherlands (2 percent) show that fast chargers must be pushed harder in the coming years. Norway is also the undisputed leader in terms of capacity, with about 25 MW capacity per 100,000 inhabitants, ahead of the next country, Luxembourg, which has just over 10 MW.
Europe must put the pedal to the metal – intelligently
McKinsey predicts that energy demand for public EV charging could likely rise from one terawatt hour (TWh) today to around 85 TWh in 2030. This will require considerable investments in both grid upgrades (€41 billion) and renewable energy generation (€74 billion). As fast charging becomes more prevalent, the peak charging loads will also become larger and sharper. Intelligently integrating EV charging infrastructure into power grids with smart charging solutions is the key to minimizing these costs and accelerating the mobility revolution. Smart charging maximizes the use of clean energy to power EVs, eliminates the need for grid extensions, keeps grid fees to a minimum and guarantees a seamless experience for EV drivers. To avoid the risk of overloads, charging sites must be equipped with a grid connection point that can deal with the maximum capacity of all charge points. However, after analyzing the charging flows from several HPC sites over a month, gridX found that all high power chargers were only fully utilized for an average of 11 minutes per day. 86 percent of the time, less than half of all charge points were in use. Rather than undergoing cost- and time-intensive grid extensions for such rare occurrences, smart charging technology is able to intelligently manage the charging processes and remove the need for grid expansion entirely. Tim Steinmetz, gridX Managing Director and Chief Growth Officer, summarizes the report findings: “With increased integration between stakeholders and assets, and automatic load shifting, we can reduce peak loads without affecting charging volume. This is a no-brainer as it makes EV charging greener, cheaper, more user-friendly and faster to install.”
Further information in gridX’s Charging Report 2023 downloadable at: gridx.ai/resources
gridX is Europe's leading smart energy company based in Aachen and Munich that was founded in 2016 by David Balensiefen and Andreas Booke. With its IoT platform XENON, gridX enables manufacturer-independent monitoring and management of distributed energy resources. XENON allows partners to develop and scale energy management solutions faster than ever before. By partnering with gridX, Fastned is able to install more charging points at sites without the need for costly grid extensions, and the Viessmann Group is able to offer its customers intelligent and integrated home energy management systems.