Electrifying Europe: Incentives for EVs and Charging Stations

Johanna Halperin

Electrifying Europe: The Incentives Driving the Adoption of Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become increasingly popular in Europe, with countries like the Netherlands, Germany and the UK leading the way. One of the biggest challenges that still keeps some potential EV owners from making the switch is “range anxiety” – the fear of running out of battery power while driving. However, policy changes aimed at expanding the EV charging infrastructure are working to overcome this obstacle.

Key European Union incentives encouraging the expansion of EV charging infrastructure:

TEN-E Regulation: The “Trans-European Energy Networks” (TEN-E) regulation provides funding for development of the energy infrastructure, including EV charging infrastructure, throughout Europe. The TEN-E Regulation supports the deployment of fast-charging stations along major highways and in urban areas. Source: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/infrastructure/ten-e/ten-e-regulation_en

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF): The CEF is a funding program that supports the development of trans-European networks in the fields of energy, transport, and digital services. EV charging infrastructure is one of the topics towards which CEF funding is allocated. Source: https://ec.europa.eu/inea/connecting-europe-facility_en

Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive: The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive sets out minimum requirements for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, including EV charging stations, across the European Union. The Directive aims to ensure the availability of charging infrastructure for EVs and to promote the use of alternative fuels in transport. Source: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/energy-efficiency/transport/alternative-fuels-infrastructure-directive

InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects: The InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects provide funding for demonstration projects in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and smart grid, including EV charging infrastructure. Source: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/innovfin-energy-demonstration-projects

These European Union incentives, along with national incentives, are supporting the accelerated expansion of the EV charging infrastructure in Europe, making it easier for EV owners to overcome range anxiety.

National Incentives Encouraging Expansion of EV Charging Infrastructure:

In parallel to the EU-wide policies which fund broad policy directives responsible for broad regional programs, in parallel countries across Europe are proactively encouraging expansion of local EV charging infrastructure, whether to support regional tourism via visitors arriving in EVs from other European locations, or to reduce air pollution in local cities by raising the proportion of electric vehicles over ICE engine-powered automobiles. National incentives come in a variety of forms:

Government Subsidies: Governments in Europe are providing subsidies to support the installation of EV charging stations. For example, in the Netherlands, the government is providing financial support for companies and individuals to install charging stations through the “LADM incentive”. (Source: https://english.rvo.nl/subsidies-programmes/sbi-support-for-business-innovation/ladm) In Germany, the government is supporting the expansion of the charging network through the “Elektromobilitaetsinfrastruktur-Förderungsprogramm (EIFP)” (German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)  Source: https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/EN/Themen/E-mobility/electric-mobility-infrastructure-promotion-programme.html

Tax Credits: Some countries in Europe are offering tax credits to individuals and businesses that install EV charging stations. For example, in the UK, companies can claim 100% first-year allowances for the cost of EV charging equipment under the “Annual Investment Allowance” scheme. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tax-relief-for-investment-in-assets-for-your-business)  In the Netherlands only businesses are eligible for EV Charging incentives. Currently there are no national or local incentives for the purchase and installation of private charging points; however, the Dutch government offers some charger incentives for companies and focuses on the development of public charging stations. For example, under the Environmental Investment Allowance (MIA) companies can receive an investment deduction of up to 36% of the amount invested in a charging point.

In parallel, the Random Depreciation of Environmental Investments (VAMIL) offers companies the possibility to depreciate 75% of the investment costs of a charging point. There is also a public charging point system which identifies over 58,000 public and semi-public EV charging points across the Netherlands.  Residents that don’t find a charging point near their homes or work places can request a free public charging point to be installed. While they will pay for energy consumption when charging, citizens don’t pay for the purchase, installation or usage of the chargers. (Source: https://blog.wallbox.com/en/netherlands-ev-incentives/)

Collaborations: Several companies and organizations are collaborating to increase the number of charging stations and provide better charging infrastructure across Europe. For example, the “IONITY” consortium is a partnership between BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Volkswagen to provide fast-charging stations along European highways. (Source: https://ionity.eu/) Another collaboration –  ChargeUp Europe – is the voice of the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure industry, working to expeditiously rollout EV charging infrastructure in Europe. The association incorporates 20 industry members and 500,000 charging points across 27 member states.

In this critical time in the shift to a sustainable transport sector in Europe, EVs are playing a central role. With the EU Green Deal and increasing demand for EVs across Europe, ChargeUp Europe advocates for policies that support investment, remove market barriers and facilitate the smooth uptake of electric vehicles and a seamless driver experience for European citizens. The organization works with EU decision makers and stakeholders to identify the policies and investments needed to facilitate the scale and volume of electric vehicles expected to come onto the EU market. ChargeUp Europe aims to educate and inform policy makers, stakeholders and the general public about the important role of EVs and the related infrastructure for achieving zero-emission transportation. (Source: https://www.chargeupeurope.eu/)

Public-Private Partnerships: In some countries, public and private organizations are partnering to increase the number of charging stations. For example, the “New Motion” organization in the Netherlands is working with local governments, businesses, and individuals to install charging stations in public places. (Source: https://www.thenewmotion.com/)  Another example, eCharge4Drivers includes 32 partners across 12 countries who have deployed ten demonstration areas over four years.  The consortium works to improve the EV charging experience in urban areas and on interurban corridors, offering a variety of projects such as additional convenient charging options within cities, a mobile charging service, charge points at lamp posts, networks of battery swapping stations for Light Electric Vehicles and a transportable charging station service to cover temporary needs. (Source: https://echarge4drivers.eu/)

The expansion of the EV charging infrastructure in Europe, driven by these incentives, is making it easier for EV owners to overcome range anxiety. With the increasing availability of charging stations, EV owners can now travel longer distances with confidence and enjoy the benefits of driving an electric vehicle.

European EV & EV Charging Incentives

Written by Johanna Halperin

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