The EU has passed a law that will require countries to install fast recharging stations for cars and vans every 60km (37 miles) along the bloc’s main highways by 2025.
The new law is expected to ensure that electric vehicle (EV) owners can travel across the continent with complete coverage, as well as reduce the bloc’s carbon emissions.
Under the new requirements, governments will be expected to install charging stations offering at least 150kW of power to be installed along the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) system of highways, the bloc’s main transport corridor.
The same distance requirements for heavy goods vehicles will need to be met by 2030, while airports and ports will need to provide electricity for passenger vessels and aircraft from 2025.
“The new law is a milestone,” said Raquel Sánchez Jiménez, Spain’s Minister of Transport. “We are optimistic that in the near future citizens will be able to charge their electric cars as easily as they [can fill up] today in traditional petrol stations.”
The regulation also requires that ad-hoc charging payments can be made via cards or contactless devices without requiring a subscription. This requirement aims to allow users to pull over to any charging station from any network without having to download a specific app or sign up for a subscription. Operators are also required to clearly list prices at their installed recharging points via “electronic means”, including wait times and availability.
The EU is also aiming to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
In the UK there are currently fewer than 39,000 public charge points in the whole of the UK. A study from 2021 found that the installation of chargers needs to increase by five times the current rate if the plan to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 is to be achieved.
The EV charging law will officially come into force across the EU 20 days after being published in the EU’s official journal after the summer, and the new rules will apply six months later.
Earlier this week, the EU also approved measures to ensure the greenhouse gas intensity of fuels used by the shipping sector decreases by 2 per cent in 2025 and by as much as 80 per cent by 2050.