Are Electric Vehicles Ready to Overtake Fossil Fuel Cars?


Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular with more people looking for alternatives to gas and diesel cars. A concern to many people is however whether it is possible to travel longer distances. We set out on a journey across Europe in an electric vehicle – and found a lot of challenges along the way.


Many European countries are currently discussing how to plan and develop sustainable mobility for the future. Major infrastructural developments are required to create the right conditions to meet the demand of a new travel behaviour.

The Sweco Urban Insight report E-magine a Journey through Europe - Energy Infrastructure for Sustainable Mobility examines whether it is feasible for a family to travel on holiday across Europe in an electric vehicle and what preparations that are needed. 

A conclusion is that the infrastructure for electric vehicles varies widely between countries and that a lot of planning is required before embarking on a journey across Europe. A variety of cards and mobile applications are needed to charge the car, as each country has its own solutions. Availability of charging stations is also a concern, as well as the fact that there are many different chargers with varying charging times.

- There is no harmonization between countries, both in terms of infrastructure and payment methods, which is a major shortcoming. For electric cars to break through, politicians and industry need to work together to get the right conditions in place, says Tim van den Maagdenberg, Head of dept. Decentralised Power Engineering in Cologne, Sweco Germany.


Urban Insight is based on a series of insight reports written by Sweco experts. It is a long-term initiative with a different theme each year. The theme for 2018 is Urban Move, focusing on mobility and sustainable development of transports in Europe. Experts from across Sweco share their knowledge and insights on various aspects of urban development from a citizen perspective.