Charging infrastructure, two-speed EU. 70% of the columns are concentrated in Germany, France and the Netherlands

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ACEA, the Association of automobile manufacturers operating in the Old Continent, has put it in black and white, certifying with numbers the perplexities of consumers in the face of the ambitious proclamations of the policy regarding the electrification of mobility. Increasing sales of zero-emission vehicles is not enough to ensure more sustainable journeys. Or, rather, it may be enough, but only in some countries. Three in particular: the Netherlands (66,665), France (45,751) and Germany (44,538), where 70% of the charging stations at Community level are concentrated. In the first five months, these three markets accounted for more than 45% of volumes (regardless of nutrition), but are worth less than a quarter (23%) of the EU surface area. In a note, the ACEA speaks of a “completely unbalanced picture” of the spread of recharging points. For those who intend to travel with an electric vehicle it means struggling to refuel in the remaining 77% of the community area. In some countries it risks being almost impossible: such as Romania, which is also six times larger than the Netherlands, where there are just 0.2% of the columns (493).

Italy, which still appears in fourth place as an absolute number of stations (over 13,000), has a fifth compared to the Netherlands and a quarter compared to France and Germany. However, at least by cross-referencing the data on size, it is better off than the “advanced” Sweden (larger, one tenth of the community surface, but also less populous and with a much smaller car market) which has less than 10,500 and Spain ( 12.4% of the surface and 3.3% of the stations against 5.8% in the Belpaese). The member states with the smallest number of columns are Cyprus (70), Malta (96), Lithuania (174), Bulgaria (194) and Greece). These nations cover less than 8% of the surface and do not reach 1.8% of the market.

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Thanks to an agreement with the Volkswagen group, the Greek government aims at least at a development of electrification at least on the islands, for the moment starting with that of Stampalia. For the moment the debate on electric vehicles is “stuff for the rich”: countries with lower GDP and a limited per capita income are struggling to follow the European Union’s vision on electrification. According to ACEA, Community policies must therefore follow a double track to improve air quality: set binding targets also for the diffusion of the charging infrastructure (and not impose them on vehicle emissions only on manufacturers) and also support diffusion of hydrogen refueling stations. Numerous manufacturers – among the large groups the exception is practically only Volkswagen – are investing in fuel cell systems.

The Association takes up the same estimates of the European Commission according to which a further reduction of CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 requires about 6 million public recharging points. Now there are just 225,000. The countries that have more ground to recover are concentrated in the Mediterranean belt and in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Everyone suspected it: now it’s black and white.

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