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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article3 March 20212 min read

How to design tenders for e-charging infrastructure - new Handbook for public authorities

The European electric vehicles market has grown rapidly over the past decade. Pushed by an increasing need to reduce emissions and promote sustainable transport, it is expected the electric vehicle fleet will continue to grow across the EU in years to come. In order to support public authorities to develop the electric recharging infrastructure required for these vehicles, recommendations and a handbook have been published on how deploy fit-for-future and consumer-friendly recharging infrastructure.

E-charging infrastructure required

The European Green Deal aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050, boosting the economy through green technology, creating a sustainable industry and transport network, and cutting pollution. The Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy proposes a variety of actions, including the expectation that a possible fleet of up to 13 million electric vehicles in 2025 will require the number of publicly accessible recharging points to grow from approximately 200,000 in 2020 to at least 1 million in 2025.

Currently, few to no recharging points are commercially viable in the EU with the current fleet of BEVs and PHEVs. Therefore, it can be expected that varying degrees of public funding for recharging points will be required for some time to come. Municipal, regional and national public authorities in the EU will, at some point in time, be required to publicly procure, award concessions or grant government support for the construction and operation of recharging points in their territories.

This will in turn result in public authorities at all levels of government being confronted with choices to be made regarding the deployment of a widespread recharging infrastructure in their territories. They will have to address issues around planning and technical choices while balancing options against long-term climate objectives (e.g. reducing car use overall, ensuring smart charging, etc.). This poses challenges, but also creates opportunities.

Recommendations and Handbook

To support public authorities on this endeavour, the Sustainable Transport Forum expert group has drawn up a set of recommendations on procurement, the awarding concessions, licensing and/or granting support for electric recharging infrastructure for passenger cars and vans.

The STF Recommendations have been adopted by the STF Plenary of 2020. They are meant to provide practical guidelines for public authorities that are either looking to procure recharging infrastructure or to award concessions for their roll-out and/or operation, possibly linked to the granting of government support. The Recommendations offer an overview of different deployment approaches across the EU, and identify some best and innovative practices by frontrunners. Taking account of different deployment speeds and needs, the STF developed a set of minimum recommendations that help all public authorities deploy fit-for-future and consumer-friendly recharging infrastructure at the lowest possible public cost.

In addition to the Recommendation, a summary Handbook provides off-the-shelf best practice examples, ready for use by national, regional and local authorities throughout the EU.

Original article published by European Commision, 15/02/2021



Publication date
3 March 2021
  • Clean and energy-efficient vehicles
  • Europe-wide