‘Plugging into the Green Deal’: Op-ed by ACEA President, Oliver Zipse

"The European automotive industry is on the road to climate neutrality. We regard climate protection as much more than an ecological commitment. What is at stake here is Europe’s economic future. We are in a race to develop the next breakthroughs in innovation, with cutting-edge technologies and products that enable further growth, while minimising the impact on nature and the climate."

"To this end, it is vital to ensure that electrified vehicles have access to a sufficiently developed network of charging and re-fuelling infrastructure. This covers three areas: public charging points, private charging points needed at home and charging points at workplaces. This requires a pan-European effort with binding and measurable targets. Existing EU programmes and new initiatives should urgently be consolidated to finance and support this massive task.

According to the European Commission, at least three million public car charging points will be needed by 2029 – including one million by 2024 – to meet the CO2 fleet targets agreed in 2019 for passenger cars and vans. Ten times more charging stations will be needed in private and work settings. This is the only way to ensure adequate access for the minimum of 30 million electric vehicles we expect to see on Europe’s roads by 2030 with the current targets.

The issue of infrastructure remains entirely unsolved. Yet the European Commission is considering tightening passenger car fleet targets from -37.5% to -50% between 2021 and 2030, while the Green Deal aims to reduce overall CO2 emissions by 55% between 1990 and 2030. The European automotive industry will continue its efforts in the fight against climate change.

But one thing needs to be clear: if CO2 fleet targets are further tightened, the growing number of electric vehicles will also increase demand for infrastructure. For every percentage point the target is raised (including a corresponding increase of the benchmark level for zero and low emission vehicles), we will need at least another 200,000 public charging points – over and above the three million already needed by 2030.

Electromobility is redefining the rules of the game for everyone involved. Leveraging our full potential in Europe will allow us to occupy a leading position in sustainable mobility on the international stage. This will require a concerted effort from all of us."

Read the full op-ed

Make sure to read the full op-ed by Oliver Zipse, ACEA President and CEO of BMW, (first published on 23 February) exclusively in: