The European Parliament has adopted a new set of rules designed to improve the EV charging experience by requiring charging providers to offer easier payments, higher charging speeds and more availability.
The new charging rules are part of the European Parliament’s Fit for 55 program, which is intended to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030. These rules mandate minimum charging speeds and minimum distances between charging stations along Europe’s TEN-T Core Network, the main arterial road networks that cover most of Europe.
Under the new regs, chargers with at least 400 kW output must be placed at least every 60 km along these primary routes by 2026. In 2028, the minimum output will increase to 600 kW.
There are separate rules for truck and bus charging stations: facilities will be required every 120 km, with minimum power levels between 1.4 and 2.8 MW, depending on the road.
By 2027, Europe will develop a public database of charging stations with information on availability, wait times, and pricing for stations from all networks.
The new rules also mandate simpler payments. CPOs will no longer be allowed to require subscriptions or app downloads. Customers must be able to pay with cards or contactless devices, and prices must be displayed to the customer.
EV boosters hope that the new rules, along with new standards for charging station reliability recently proposed by the UK government, will set a trend that spreads to the US. However, the requirements for credit card readers and display screens seem likely to face opposition from some CPOs, including Tesla, whose Superchargers don’t have display screens.
Anything that makes charging easier for drivers is good, but do stations really need screens when every EV has a screen on the dashboard? When California proposed a similar requirement for card readers, some pointed out that card readers and screens are likely points of failure—and reliability is by most accounts the biggest problem with public charging.