On the road towards securing a viable EV charging infrastructure network in Europe
The transport sector is an important contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the UK and Europe. It is therefore essential to decarbonise the transport sector to meet national and international emission reduction targets aimed at combatting climate change. The transition from petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles to electric vehicles (“EVs”) has an important role to play in meeting these targets.
Whilst it is not yet clear how fast the transition to EVs will be, what is clear is that the growing fleet of EVs will require significant investment in electric charging infrastructure, particularly on or near motorways and other major roads as well as in towns and cities, not least given that as of the summer of 2018, there were only around 17,400 public charging points in the UK.
This new charging infrastructure will also need to be sufficiently homogenous (both in terms of compatibility to different makes of EV and methods of payment) in order to maximise the benefits and continue to encourage and support the move towards EVs.
Without confidence in the availability of a reliable, cost-effective and quick recharge the transition of the majority of drivers to EVs will be slow. However, the scale of the EV charging infrastructure required to deliver this is presently unclear and is subject to change, in particular as battery density improves.
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© Herbert Smith Freehills 2021