“It took us 10 years to install 400,000 chargers,” says Serge Colle, EY's global energy and resources leader. “Now we will need to do about 500,000 every single year until 2030 and about 1 million every year between 2030 and 2035.”
EY estimates that tab for this buildout will be $62 billion, with another $72 billion needed to install 56 million residential chargers.
“It's much cheaper to build a bit too much today and to have that necessary buffer, than to wait and find out too late that we are short,” says Kristian Ruby, secretary general of Eurelectric.
The ramp-up of electric cars will coincide with an increase in renewable energy generation, the electrification of heating and an increase in extreme weather.
“It's just absolutely critical that we don't sit on our hands and wait,” Ruby said. “This is a decade of doing.”
In addition to overseeing the installation of millions of chargers, Europe's utility industry will need to manage an increased load on the grid.
Along highway corridors, where drivers will expect fast charging on demand, EVs could increase peak loads by 90 percent, according to EY's calculations.
Managing these surges, says Colle, will require on-site solar and energy storage systems at charging stations.
In urban residential settings, EY expects charging demand to surge in the evenings, when drivers return from work, causing potential increases in peak load of 86 percent.
To smooth these peaks electricity providers will need to offer incentives for drivers to charge at off-peak times and to put power from car batteries back into the grid, meaning both homes and cars will need two-way charging capabilities.
With such mitigations in place, according to the report, utilities could reduce EV demand spikes by more than a fifth.