FRANKFURT — The European Union should set binding targets for 1 million public charging points for electric vehicles by 2024, and 3 million by 2029, to give consumers the confidence to switch to the new technology, the region's car lobby said on Thursday.
In a joint letter with consumer and sustainable transport groups, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) told Brussels that firm targets would also help carmakers and power grid operators plan ahead.
"The EU Commission quickly needs to take action and set binding targets for the ramp-up of charging infrastructure in the member states," said ACEA president Oliver Zipse, who is also chief executive of German carmaker BMW.
"Otherwise, even the current reduction targets in fighting climate change are at risk," he said.
Electric vehicle (EV) sales have recently gained momentum as those of combustion engine cars fell during lockdowns in the coronavirus crisis.
Carmakers are launching new EV models to meet tougher EU emissions rules and several governments have introduced EV subsidies as part of pandemic recovery programs.
However, the rollout of public charging stations, to complement workplace and home charging, has been slow and there are multiple tariffs and payment methods.
Industry figures show the EU had 224,538 public charging points in 2020.
The letter, also signed by consumer lobby BEUC and the Transport & Environment (T&E) caucus, urged the Commission to create common standards.
It should also set a target for around 1,000 hydrogen stations by 2029, the letter said.
The German government on Wednesday agreed a draft law to aim for 1,000 fast charging stations alongside motorways by the end of 2023. It expects to spend 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion).