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Demand for EVs is soaring. Is Europe’s charging station network up to speed?

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As oil prices soar and governments crack down on combustion engines to curb global warming, more and more drivers are considering switching to an electric vehicle (EV).For the first time ever, more than half of car buyers surveyed worldwide want their next purchase to be an electric or hybrid model, according to Ernst & Young’s latest Mobility Consumer Index.For many living in the European Union, going electric could even become an obligation quite soon, as the EU moves closer to banning sales of new petrol or diesel cars from 2035.But for now, as the summer holidays approach, new and prospective owners may still be nervous when it comes to taking long trips in an EV, with a nagging fear they might run out of power before reaching a charging station.According to the Electric Vehicle Database, the average battery range of EVs currently sits at a comfortable 326 km, enough to allay so-called range anxiety when it comes to everyday use.But a cross-border European road trip would require topping up along the way, and the infrastructure across the continent remains patchy in many areas.Not only are charging stations very unevenly distributed, but the providers and payment systems differ too.Here are three things you need to know about Europe’s EV charging landscape.The EU has more than 330,000 publicly accessible charging points, and that number is growing, but their uneven deployment means “travel across the EU in electric vehicles is not easy,” the European Court of Auditors warned in a report last year.Just three countries – Germany, France and the Netherlands – account for 69 per cent of all charging points across the EU, while 10 European countries do not have a single charger per 100 km of road.The European Commission

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