ChargeUp Europe, an association of European charging infrastructure providers, has called for a stronger and more coherent approach to electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

In an open letter to the EU Commission, the industry lobby association says the current national approaches are a major threat to adequate infrastructure development. It says a patchwork of national regulations, lack of interoperability of technical requirements and incoherent political planning models could slow down the introduction of electric cars, just at the point when sales of electric vehicles are growing significantly.

“Investors need certainty, and drivers need to be able to travel anywhere in Europe with confidence,” says Christopher Burghardt, President of ChargeUp Europe and Managing Director at ChargePoint. “A single market for EV infrastructure investment simply does not exist today. It’s clear that we need a stronger, more coherent approach at the EU level.”

ChargeUp Europe says the EV charging industry sits at the intersection of the energy, digital and automotive sectors and developments in all these areas – including with the electricity grid – need to be taken into account when setting appropriate market rules and regulations.

The association also says EVs need to be treated separately to existing regulations for alternative fuels (known as DAFI). “It makes little sense to bundle public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles with other alternative fuels,” Burghardt says. “We need a dedicated approach to electric mobility that takes into account the specificities of our sector.”

ChargeUp says, “Setting ambitious targets for the roll-out of EV infrastructure without a harmonised legal framework to back this up would be a missed opportunity for the sector and the EU’s climate ambitions.”

ChargeUp Europe was founded in April 2020 as an informal alliance by the charging infrastructure companies Allego, ChargePoint and EVBox. In the meantime, the lobby organisation has become an industry association that has grown to 13 members. Prominent members now include the French energy giant Total, the Dutch fast-charging provider Fastned, the Austrian eMobility and the Dortmund-based charging pole manufacturer Compleo.