Czechs lagging most of Europe in electric car charging stations

Photo: Michal Malý, ČRo

The Czech Republic is lagging behind much of the rest of Europe when it comes to use of electric cars and network of charging stations, the Czech News Agency reported on Monday.

At present, there are 808 charging stations in the Czech Republic, which is only 0.4 percent of the total number in the EU.

This country is one of the most poorly equipped in Europe when it comes to charging stations, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

In total, over 5,000 electric cars are registered in the Czech Republic.

According to the association’s data, which includes density of chargers as well as ordinary low-capacity electrical outlets common in car repair shops, for example, charging stations in Europe are very unevenly distributed.

Indeed, three quarters of Europe’s charging stations are to be found in only four EU countries:  the Netherlands, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

At the same time, these states cover only about a quarter of the territory of the 28-state bloc.

By contrast, the Czech Republic comes bottom of the charging station league table, alongside Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.

One of the main factors currently holding back an increase in the density of chargers in this country is the scant interest of domestic companies in purchasing electric cars.

It is firms who make up three quarters of new car registrations. Battery electric cars now make up four percent in the fleets of domestic companies, compared to about 16 percent in other EU states.

Tomáš Kadeřábek of leasing company Arval told the Czech News Agency that the present low demand was not an incentive to dedicating more resources to developing an extensive network of charging stations.

However, the popularity of electric cars in the Czech Republic is slowly rising and the expanding number of models will allow for a doubling of their number in companies’ fleets every year in future, Mr. Kadeřábek added.

For instance, Dutch firms’ fleets feature eight times more electric cars than those of their Czech counterparts.

Over 2,000 such vehicles have been sold in the Czech Republic this year.

Around Europe sales have increased by 110 percent in the last three years, with the number of charging points growing by nearly three-quarters in the same period.

This discrepancy could cause a slowdown in electric car sales in future, says the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

Mr. Kadeřábek told the Czech News Agency that not only states but also private companies, such as leasing firms, should be involved in building the charging infrastructure in future.

The Czech state cites electro-mobility as a central plank of its plans for greener transport, saying it wants to increase the number of electric cars to hundreds of thousands by 2030.

It mainly draws on EU funds in the construction of charging stations and has announced programmes amounting to tens of millions of crowns to build more of them.