7 May 2024

Denmark: the push for electric mobility requires open dialog with all municipalities

Denmark – Electric car sales are outpacing the number of charging stations. Municipalities, electricity companies and Charge Point Operators (CPO’s) must ensure that drivers do not lack charging options, tells PowerGo’s Tender Manager Frederikke Fog in the opinion piece of Altinget.

It’s a paradox.

A world with electric cars is no longer on the horizon. Motorists are embracing electrification and jumping into their electric vehicles (EV’s) to drive to work or supermarkets, while companies are starting to invest in electric trucks to deliver goods or parcels.

While sales of electric cars and trucks are increasing, the number of charging stations is not keeping up. This is revealed by the number of publicly available charging points, which, according to the Danish Car Importers Association, reached 19,191 in March, an increase of 73 percent compared to the level from March last year. At the same time, the number of electric cars has increased by 77 percent over the past 12 months.

This is worrying, especially because we risk that the lack of charging infrastructure could affect the green transition of the car fleet.

The transition depends, among other things, on the municipalities, which play a crucial role in ensuring that Denmark’s ecosystem for electric cars and electric trucks is cohesive. They put the installation of charging stations out to tender, which improves the possibilities for EV drivers to charge in public spaces.

The ecosystem is connected to the private sector, where we as CPO’s provide more, faster and greener charging points and electricity companies provide power to the chargers.

It is therefore crucial that in the private sector we engage in an open dialog with the municipalities about how we as a society can succeed in ensuring that all electric car drivers have charging options that ensure them a good everyday life with their electric car.

Frederikke Fog, PowerGo

Frederikke Fog, Tender Manager at PowerGo

PowerGo charger in Gladsaxe

"The arrival of electric trucks places demand on CPO's like PowerGo, where we are working hard to improve charging conditions for truck drivers."

Frederikke Fog

Positive initiatives from the politicians

Electric cars aren’t the only ones creating a need for the number of charging stations to keep up.

Sales of electric trucks are starting to pick up and are even exceeding the Danish Energy Agency’s expectations. In a climate projection from May last year, the agency estimated that 125 electric trucks – instead of the current 465 electric trucks – would be on the road this spring.

If we dive down and focus on heavy transportation, the arrival of electric trucks places demand on CPO’s like PowerGo, where we are working hard to improve charging conditions for truck drivers.

It also places demand on the municipalities and the electricity companies, because together we must ensure that truck drivers have charging options when driving goods across the country.

The development puts pressure on the Danish parliament, where the politicians have tried to look into the future. They have allocated around 700 million Danish krones for the establishment of 25 charging ‘parks’ for electric trucks with 175 fast charging points. They have also passed the AFI law, which gives municipalities and regions the authority to enter into agreements with private players for the establishment of publicly accessible electric charging stations.

Flexible tenders show the way

While we’ve seen some positive political initiatives, we hope that the politicians in the Danish parliament will help to further increase the ambitions for the green transition of the car fleet.

If we move away from parliament and delve into the municipalities, it is clear that they have a key role to play in pushing the development of the charging infrastructure. It’s a responsibility that municipalities largely take on, but one that also leaves room for some improvement.

Municipalities have the potential to make the rollout of charging stations smoother. Before the municipalities put locations out to tender, they can show flexibility and consideration with the number of charging stations, so that we as operators can bid with, for example, two to four per location. And once the municipalities have put out a tender, they can work to improve the processing time without compromising municipal professionalism.

We therefore hope that the Danish parliament will listen to whether the municipalities need subsidy schemes or exemption from tender requirements when installing charging stations. We believe this would contribute to a faster roll-out of the charging infrastructure.

Together with CPO’s, electricity companies and political parties, municipalities must ensure that we address the paradoxical development we are experiencing. This requires that we each raise our ambitions if we want the charging infrastructure to keep up with the rapid development in the number of electric cars and electric trucks.

PowerGo Chargers Gladsaxe/Vejen

"Municipalities have the potential to make the rollout of charging stations smoother."

Frederikke Fog