Working Paper

Efficient planning and implementation of public chargers: Lessons learned from European cities

This working paper gathers insights from selected European cities on how to streamline the charging infrastructure planning and implementation process. The study identifies two main possible approaches, along with several best practices, that may help to reduce costs and delays associated with growing the charging network. The ideal approach depends on the state of the market, the local context, and the municipalities’ goals.

A demand-driven approach is aimed at matching the demand for charging stations from EV drivers with the supply of public on-street residential and workplace chargers. It is well-suited for the development of on-street residential AC regular chargers in immature markets as it guarantees a minimum charger utilization rate and helps to assess demand.

In a planning-oriented approach, installation is initiated by a charging station operator or local authority expressing interest in installing a charging station. This approach works well for both on-street and off-street locations and for DC fast and AC regular chargers’ implementation. It requires close upstream collaboration with city planners, grid operators, EV driver associations, residents, and private landowners to identify optimal charger locations.

A combination of these approaches may be ideal. For example, a demand-driven approach could be used for on-street residential and public workplace charging in early infrastructure roll out phases, accompanied by a planning approach for destination charging and in areas with lower electric vehicle uptake. Together, these approaches could guarantee a baseline utilization and equitable infrastructure access.