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| 2 minutes read

Europe Vs US: Who Leads the EV Charging Race?

In a recent article from Apricum, a strategy consulting and investment banking boutique focused on the energy transition, a look at the European and US EV charging landscape provided some key insights into the differences that exist between the two.

Whilst Europe boasts more chargers per capita than the US, a closer look reveals a different picture. Despite its lead in charger numbers, Europe's fragmented market and inconsistent policies might well hinder its progress in the long run.

Looking at Policy for example, the US benefits from clear, top-down policies with standardised funding whereas Europe on the other hand, with its individual member Countries, tends to struggle with conflicting interests, slower implementation, differing incentives and differences in matters relating to compliance.

When we look at the CPO landscape, the US market is concentrated, with Tesla dominating and only a few major players behind whilst Europe is very fragmented. The UK alone boasts numerous local players, from the more established and reputable to newer entrants and even supermarkets and telecommunications firms spinning out their own CPO businesses as we have seen recently. Thus, competition for land is rife making expansion challenging whilst utilization rates vary especially give the differences in user experience and pricing. 

On the topic of Expansion, securing contracts and navigating regulations seems to be much easier in the US due to its single language, currency, and centralised decision-making but in Europe it is far more complex as CPO's expanding into new countries need to navigate multiple languages, currencies, and individual country processes and compliance/regulatory matters.

So what does the future look like? 

Whilst Europe has more chargers, its fragmented market and policy inconsistencies might slow its progress compared to the US's more streamlined approach. The next few years will be crucial in determining which region truly leads the EV charging infrastructure race. We are likely to see continued consolidation in Europe with plenty of M&A activity predicted. Bigger players with deeper pockets may take advantage of smaller firms, acquiring them at a discount in order to gain market entry and access to land.  The US on the other hand can expect market concentration to reduce as the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program will provide funding for multiple CPOs opening up opportunities for growth beyond the legacy market leaders. Time will tell!

How do you see things? Agree / disagree? I'm keen to hear your thoughts. 

At Hyperion Executive Search, we work exclusively within the cleantech and E-Mobility sector to support scale ups to hire leadership, C-Suite and Board level hires. We've supported several CPO's and many leading eMSP's to hire the leaders they need to achieve their growth objectives and drive the mobility transition forward. Connect with me here to learn more. 

As of early 2024, in the US there are an estimated 3 million battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on the road and 150,000 public EV chargers. This equates to a 20:1 vehicle-per-charger ratio. In Europe, there are an estimated 6 million BEVs and 750,000 public EV chargers, translating into an 8:1 vehicle-per-charger ratio.


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