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Connected Driving 6 min read

How does EV charging infrastructure vary in the European Union?

A map illustration of the European Union

Despite EU-wide targets for reducing emissions, HERE data reveals a startling picture of the huge variance in charge point infrastructure across Europe.

By 2035, new carbon-emitting vehicles will no longer be on sale in the European Union (EU) — with the exception of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that run on e-fuels.

Despite this target, the 27 states of the EU are at very different stages right now when it comes to electric vehicle (EV) uptake. One of the biggest barriers remains a lack of adequate EV charging infrastructure in many regions. As EV ownership becomes more mainstream, many new owners who are not able to charge their vehicles at home will depend on public EV charging stations.

This graphic shows the 27 states of the European Union. On the X axis, how many EVs on average there are per charging station in the country — the lower this value, the more likely it is to find a place to charge in public. On the Y-axis, the share of EVs in the total car fleet of the country is shown. The darker the color, the more charging stations per 100,000 people. 


We analyzed data from HERE EV Charge Points, a dynamic API service with access to more than 1 million connectors globally. Data from this service, which is embedded in cars of many electric vehicle manufacturers and provides drivers with highly granular information about charging stations, has been supplemented with current data from the European Alternative Fuels Observatory, the German Federal Statistical Office, and the German Federal Motor Transport Authority.

This creates a comprehensive insight not only into the development of EV charging infrastructure down to a district level but also an overview of the acceptance of electric vehicles regionally and nationally. It allows us to compare European countries with each other — and to see which nation has the biggest challenge ahead.

With 292 EV charge points per 100k people, drivers in the Netherlands have an easier time charging their electric vehicles.


What we found

Sweden has the highest share of EVs in the entire EU, at around 4% of total vehicles. Massive state subsidies were used to promote e-mobility here, but this support ran out completely at the end of 2022. On the other hand, relatively little was invested in public charging infrastructure: 35 EVs for every public charging station. It can be assumed that many Swedes charge their EVs at home.

In neighboring Denmark, the situation is similar — which is surprising because there’s no EV state subsidy. The opposite is the case: there are stiff taxes on new car registrations, which is why the import of used EVs initially bought in Germany is booming

Meanwhile, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are pioneers in e-mobility. On average, only a small amount of EVs share a public charging station (seven and 11, respectively). At the same time, the overall EV fleet share is already above 3% of the total. 


Deep dive

Germany, which produces more cars than any other European nation, sits in the middle. Although over a million EVs are registered here, there is an obvious need to expand the charging infrastructure if demand is to be met. On average, 27 EVs share one public charging station. In France, it’s about the same, but it is significantly larger in terms of area.

To the south, Austria has almost twice as many charging stations per 100,000 people as Germany, but only about one-tenth of the number of EVs.

Lagging behind

In last place is Lithuania with 143 charging stations — five per 100,000 people —  in a country that is 65,300 km² in size. It also has a fleet share of only 0.4%. The Baltic state has just 49 EVs for every charging point. 

Despite the relatively low number of EV drivers in Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia (as well as Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, Slovenia, and Slovakia) have a pretty good chance of finding a charging station. In Slovakia, for example, there are five EVs for each charging station. Top position in Europe — but EVs play virtually no role in the total fleet (0.2%). 

While every country has its own unique challenges to contend with, including area, population density, and topography, some clearly have a lot of work to do before 2035.

About HERE Charge Points

Our data on charging stations and points comes from December 2020, 2021, and 2022 to ensure the best possible comparability with the latest population data. This data comes from December 2021.

HERE EV Charge Points collects data from charge stations in public spaces. These include free, paid, and access-restricted charge stations (for example, public, yet commercial ones found on retail parking lots). Private charge stations, such as those in residential buildings, are excluded. EV station data was pulled from our API for December 1, 2020, 2021 and 2022 from charge stations that were available to drivers that day.

Levels of information in HERE EV Charge Points include charge pools, charge stations, EVSEs (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) and connectors. Included in the API response can be addresses, hours of operation, charge station details, payment methods and availability information. Information about voltage, amps, charge modes and connector types are also supported.

Third-party data has also been used from the European Alternative Fuels Observatory, where we looked into fully electric vehicles (EVs) only. Hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) aren't included in our report. 2021 Population data was used from the German Federal Statistical Office and vehicle registration data from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority.

A charge station has at least one, but usually more charge points (EVSEs). Different connector types and power levels may be available per charge point at a single charge station.

A headshot of Martin Hasse, Senior Communications Manager

Martin Hasse

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