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Wanted: Half a million electric car charge points for Europe

Posting in Energy

Here's one in Amsterdam. If Europe could only install another 500,000 charge points, it might get a a few more EVs on the road, says climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard.

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Electric vehicle sales are slumping in Europe - not that they were ever booming. Consumers aren't buying them for a number of reasons, including "range anxiety"  - the concern that they'll run out of juice while on the road, where charging stations are hard to find.

European Union bureaucrats to the rescue!

They want to install half a million new charge points across the EU's 27 member nations by 2020, all using the same standard rather than the disparate technologies in use today.

"We can finally stop the chicken and the egg discussion on whether infrastructure needs to be there before the large scale roll-out of electric vehicles," said climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard on the EU website.  "With our proposed binding targets for charging points using a common plug, electric vehicles are set to hit the road in Europe. This is climate mainstreaming in action. And a win for the climate, businesses, consumers and jobs."

The International Herald Tribune called the goal "the most ambitious part" of an €8 billion ($10.8 billion) Clean Power for Transport Package that also includes infrastructure for other fuels like hydrogen, liquefied natural gas, compressed natural gas, gas-to-liquid and biofuels.

"The EU proposal, which wants 795,000 charging points in all of EU by 2020, must be approved by the European Parliament and all 27 member states before it can go into effect," notes The Copenhagen Post, from Hedegaard's home country of Denmark.

In other words: who's going to pay for it?

And another question: how much environmental difference will it all make if the electricity feeding these charge points doesn't come from clean sources like renewables and nuclear? While we're probing: what about wireless car charging?

Your answers and observations welcomed in the comments section below.

Photo: Bontenbal via Wikimedia.

More electric charges on SmartPlanet:

Cutting the cord - two of the many SmartPlanet stories on wireless car charging:

— By on January 30, 2013, 8:09 PM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure