EVs for EV-eryone: the essentials to scale e-mobility
Soaring energy prices and supply chain disturbances have not stopped EVs in Europe.
Yet, as the EV industry gets ready to reach scale, consumers must be at the centre of this EV-olution. A new Eurelectric-EY study presents the six essentials to turn EVs into an affordable, reliable, user-friendly choice for every car owner across Europe.
2022 was a bumper year for e-mobility. EV sales won around 20% of the market, up from 17% in 2021, reaching 8 million units in Europe. Driving into the mainstream, however, will depend on the ability to convince the mass-market customer to take the EV-turn.
A new Eurelectric-EY study presents six essentials for electric vehicles’ mass-market uptake: critical raw materials, smart charging, grid management, clean power generation, skilled labour, and digitalisation for consumer acceptance.
“Getting our transport sector off its fossil fuel addiction is critical to achieve energy independence. The key to achieve that is to make the EV ecosystem the obvious choice for the consumer," said Kristian Ruby, Secretary General at Eurelectric.
The essentials for EVs uptake
According to the report, bringing down battery prices is the first step. This entails setting clear regulations and mandates to attract investments in a resilient supply chain. Enhanced battery performance, recycling, and innovation in alternative chemistries as well as faster permitting and sustainable mining to ensure access to lithium, cobalt, and nickel are now urgently needed to escape dependencies on unreliable suppliers. But the battery price tag is not the only factor to encourage consumers to make the switch.
The vehicle itself is only part of the story. It must be coupled with adequate charging infrastructure, in the places and spaces where people need it. It must be enabled by a smart grid that allows the two-way flow of green energy and supported by digital technologies that make EV ownership simple, flexible and likeable. Get these essentials right, and e-mobility becomes the new normal for road transport.
The lack of public charging infrastructures is the first concern for potential EV buyers. Charging stations - whether at home, in the office, or on the road - must be quickly and evenly deployed across EU countries. By 2030, Europe will need 5.4 million non-residential chargers from the 482,000 currently accessible to supply around 200TWh of energy demand for EVs. And we need that energy to be carbon-free. This raises challenges for grid balancing that must be addressed now to avoid overloads and blackouts later.
An ecosystem challenge
“The EV industry is at an inflection point as e-mobility pushes beyond early adopters faster than previously anticipated. But a smooth transition from here is not guaranteed. Success hinges on a multi-stakeholder response and the role of utilities in maintaining the momentum cannot be underestimated.
Collaboration around the six essentials is key, as failure could result in missed net-zero targets, unresolved air quality issues, wasted investments, and an extended transition period," said Serge Colle, EY Global Energy & Resources Industry Market Leader.
Utilities will play a huge role in pushing the e-mobility industry into mass adoption, by rolling out new and upgraded networks and renewable projects. Regulators, however, must be on board with a clear enabling framework.
Eurelectric calls on policymakers to:
- Expand, upgrade, and climate-proof distribution grids;
- Streamline permitting to reduce delays in installing charging infrastructure and incentivize businesses to install charging stations via tax credits and subsidies
- Support flexible technologies such as smart meters, and vehicle-to-grid to enable demand-side response and raise awareness on how citizens can become active energy transitioners
- Encourage investments in domestic raw material production, recyclability, and alternative battery technologies