Charging infrastructure for trucks is a prerequisite for the successful electrification of commercial road transport, which is why Eurowag has compiled an index for assessing individual European countries.
The pressure for sustainability and emission reductions affects all sectors, including commercial road transport. This is understandable - almost three quarters of emissions from European transport come from roads. However, while emission-free battery drives are becoming more widespread in passenger cars, truck electrification is only at the beginning of its journey. One reason, the Eurowag study suggests, is the lack of charging infrastructure.
Map of individual countries according to the results of the Eurowag study. Green states are the most ready for electrified freight transport, yellow indicates medium readiness and red indicates low readiness. Source: Eurowag
Commercial road transport (CRT) plays a vital role in reducing emissions and combating climate change. Up to 70% of CO2 emissions from European road freight transport are caused by medium and heavy trucks. In addition, the decarbonization of freight transport has significantly more obstacles compared to passenger vehicles – it requires more advanced battery technologies, high initial investments and, last but not least, there is the critical question: Will there be a place to recharge battery-powered trucks?
Charging infrastructure is usually identified as one of the main problems (not the only) of freight electromobility. The success of commercial road transport electrification thus depends largely on the availability of the charging network, its performance, reliability, and other variables. Few carriers are willing to risk huge investments in electrifying their fleets unless they can be sure that their electric trucks can be recharged on the road without problems. Most current freight electrification projects are therefore focused on applications that allow charging "at home" in the depot, eliminating the problem of charging on the road.
What's the problem? Battery-powered trucks place specific demands on the charging infrastructure. The charging point for an electric truck must be suitable in terms of size and accessibility (trucks simply cannot fit into charging points for cars), the power of the charging station (optimally 350 kW or more), location (especially in the corridors of the trans-European transport network) and, last but not least, reliability. In an industry where there is constant pressure on performance and driving time, no one can afford delays due to a malfunctioning charger.
A recent study by Eurowag provides interesting information on how European countries fare in terms of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The results show that the readiness of the European infrastructure for battery-powered trucks still has large gaps.
The countries at the top of the ranking are mainly in Northern and Western Europe. The country most ready for electrified freight transport is Norway, followed closely by the Netherlands and Switzerland. Sweden and Germany are also in the top five. The "Romanesque" countries of southern Europe - Italy, Portugal, Spain and France - also made it into the top 15.
The Czech Republic was ranked 21st in the Eurowag index, between Slovakia (20th) and Poland (22nd). Overall, the index describes the Czech Republic as a country moderately prepared for the operation of electric cars. At the tail end of the ranking are the Eastern European countries, where the readiness for CRT electrification is either insufficient or no relevant data is available. Specifically, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and North Macedonia.
It should be noted that the field of electro-mobility is evolving rapidly, as is the density of charging infrastructure, which is adding more power and increasingly thinking about the needs of future electric vehicles. Whereas a year ago there were less than 3,600 charging points with a capacity suitable for trucks (above 350 kW) across Europe, this year there are 6,008.
For the future of electrified freight transport, it will be important not only to build an infrastructure that meets the demands of electric trucks, but also other technological solutions that make it easy to find suitable charging points, pay for them easily and, if necessary, reserve your charging slot. This will require solutions from private companies such as Eurowag, new partnerships and, above all, incentives and subsidies at both national and European levels.
Want to see the complete Eurowag index results? Are you interested in the electrification of freight transport? Read the report "Electromobility in the commercial freight segment". You can download it at Eurowag website.
Eurowag has collected data on electromobility in each European country. Specifically, it focused on the following parameters that indicate readiness for freight electrification:
- Number of all charging points and number of charging points ≥ 350 kW (Eco-movement 02/2022 and Sygic 05/2022 data)
- Share of electrified passenger cars (EAFO and ACEA data 01/2022)
- Share of electrified HDVs and MDVs (EAFO and ACEA data 01/2022)
- Legislation and incentives in place (EAFO data 04/2021)
Each parameter was then divided into 3 groups according to the number of points scored, indicated by colours as in a traffic light:
- Good result (green) 10-15 points
- Medium result (yellow) 5-10 points
- Low result (red) 0-5 points
The only exception was the parameter "Legislation and incentives in place", where Eurowag defined 4 values, according to the level of legislation being used:
- 0 points - no legislation in place,
- 5 points - 1-3 local policy measures, incentives or tax benefits in place
- 10 points - 4-6 local policy measures, incentives or tax benefits in place
- 15 points - 7 or more local policy measures, incentives or tax benefits in place
To calculate each country's index, the values of each parameter were weighted equally. It should be noted that not all European countries have all data publicly available. In this case, the value of this parameter was set to 0.
Eurowag has been providing integrated mobility and payment services to international transport companies for more than 25 years. It is one of the fastest growing companies in Europe in its field. Its mission is to make the operation of the millions of trucks crossing Europe cleaner, fairer and more efficient. To this end, Eurowag offers its customers products and services based on modern digital technologies, ranging from payments for conventional and alternative fuels, electric vehicle charging and toll payments, to tax refunds, telematics and navigation, to a range of financial services and clean mobility advice.
Eurowag also supports innovation in philanthropy. As part of the Philanthropy and You project, in which ¾ of the company's employees regularly participate, each Eurowag employee receives an individual budget for philanthropy, as well as complete confidence in how the money is spent. The project has already inspired several other large IT corporations to undertake similar activities. For more information, visit https://www.eurowag.com/cz.