The introduction of the Renault ZOE at the end of 2012 and the Volkswagen Golf in 2013 – two electric vehicles that could have mass-market appeal – should dramatically increase consumer interest in EVs in Europe, and spur investment from companies looking to provide charging infrastructure.
The EV charging infrastructure that enables vehicles to charge at home, at the workplace, and in public spaces is simultaneously being rolled out utilizing a variety of deployment models and several different technology configurations.
By 2020, Pike Research forecasts that more than 2.9 million plug-in electric vehicles will be on Europe’s roadways and that the region will have more than 4.1 million EV charging stations installed.
“In many ways, Europe is the ideal market for electric vehicles,” says research director John Gartner. “European consumers, accustomed to smaller city cars and driving shorter distances, are expected to shift to EVs at a more rapid pace than motorists in North America. Also, because more Europeans live in multi-unit dwellings, commercial charging equipment is likely to be more prevalent there than in North America.”
One factor that could limit the spread of electric vehicle supply equipment, according to the report, is the great variety between countries in terms of regulations, government support for EVs and charging infrastructure, and technologies. The absence of a single, region-wide alternating current EV charging connector standard has hampered the deployment of EV charging infrastructure. The European Union must address these country-specific variations if the EV market is to thrive, the report finds.[source: Pike Research]