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News article21 December 2023

EU Report Unveils Recommendations for Smoother EV Recharging Infrastructure Deployment

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A comprehensive report from the Sustainable Transport Forum’s ‘public authorities’ subgroup (STF-PA) sheds light on the current challenges and proposes solutions for the deployment of electric vehicle (EV) recharging infrastructure across the European Union.

Survey Insights: Bureaucratic Hurdles in Permitting and Grid Connection

Conducted between September and December 2021, the survey engaged 14 local, regional, and national public authorities, alongside 11 private stakeholders, including recharging point operators (CPOs), electricity suppliers, car manufacturers, and interest groups. It revealed significant bottlenecks in the procedures of permitting and grid connection for recharging points.

The report identifies key issues such as lengthy and inconsistent permitting processes across different regions, leading to additional costs and delays. In grid connection, challenges include limited grid capacity, prioritization issues by distribution system operators (DSOs), and a lack of transparency.

Major Bottlenecks and Proposed Solutions

  1. Streamlining Procedures: The report calls for clearly defined timelines, standardized procedures, and technical support for public authorities to expedite permitting and grid connections.
  2. Transparency on Costs: A recommendation for greater clarity on the costs involved in both permitting and grid connection procedures to reduce unpredictability.
  3. Enhanced Cooperation: Urging closer cooperation between public authorities and DSOs/TSOs to accelerate grid connections for recharging points.
  4. Joint Planning: Emphasizing the need for coordinated planning between authorities, CPOs, and DSOs/TSOs to align recharging infrastructure with urban and mobility planning.

Specific Recommendations for Permitting Procedures

  • Implement defined timelines for permitting, with a cap of 3–6 months, as suggested by the city of Stockholm and the European Parliament.
  • Provide technical support to local authorities for streamlined grid-permitting processes.
  • Adopt a 'one-stop-shop' approach and digital permit-granting processes to simplify and expedite the procedure.

Improvements in Grid Connection Procedures

  • Coordinate long-term grid planning and stimulate investments aligning with urban mobility plans.
  • Establish transparent, digital procedures for grid connection applications, with defined timelines for connection requests.

Impact on EU's EV Goals

These challenges, if unresolved, could jeopardize the EU’s alternative fuels infrastructure regulation (AFIR) targets. The lack of a comprehensive EV recharging infrastructure could hinder the widespread adoption of EVs and the decarbonization of the transport sector in the EU.

Conclusion

The report emphasizes the importance of both public authorities and market players enhancing cooperation and communication with DSOs to streamline these processes. It provides practical solutions and best practice examples to assist in the smooth deployment of recharging infrastructure, crucial for meeting the EU's environmental and transport goals.

The document is available in this link

How to cite: 

European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, Sustainable Transport Forum – Best practices guide for permitting and grid connection procedures for recharging infrastructure, Publications Office of the European Union, 2023, https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2832/944637

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