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EV Makers Worried About Europe’s Charging System

Carmakers preparing new EV models in a bid to take over the European market are worried grid and charging network constraints could challenge sales.

According to a Bloomberg report, executives from some of the largest carmakers are flagging a lack of fast-enough grid expansion and the absence of a single charging standard.

“It needs to speed up drastically,” Martin Sander, who heads Ford’s EV business in Europe, said as quoted by Bloomberg, referring to grid expansion.

“If this doesn’t happen, then customers will not have the possibility in 2035 to drive electric vehicles everywhere in Europe because it just won’t be practical.”

Grid expansion is a pressing issue for governments on both sides of the Atlantic as they seek to electrify ever-larger parts of their economies. This electrification will lead to a surge in demand, which would necessitate a larger grid.

However, grid expansion is not something that could be done in a week or a month, and this has turned the issue into one of the biggest and most challenging obstacles to the energy transition.

Charging standards are also a headache for carmakers in Europe, according to the Bloomberg report. The example it provides is with a new Renault model that would feature bidirectional charging, making it possible for the car to release electricity back into the grid or the house of its owner when necessary.

Yet this bidirectional charging system would only work with Renault chargers and electricity distributors that the company has deals with.

“That’s a little bit of a limit, right?” Renault chief executive Luca de Meo said, urging his fellow carmakers to all start working towards making bidirectional EVs.

“Interoperability, and finding a way to make all cars to be able to get energy back into the system, wherever it comes from — it’s a discussion you should have,” De Meo said.


The idea seems to be to repeat what the EU did with phone chargers and set up a universal standard for EV chargers. However, this would involve additional investments on top of the ones that Renault, for instance, has already made in its proprietary charger for the upcoming bidirectional model.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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