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The problem of public charging stations in France

The problem of public charging stations in France

France is encouraging the switch to electric vehicles, but there's still one obstacle on the road to mass adoption. public charging stations. While the number of charging stations increased significantly in 2023, their reliability and geographical distribution still leave much to be desired.

Also read : Charging stations: what's the current state of deployment?

In fact, more and more charging stations are either out of service or insufficient to meet growing demand. This reality highlights the obstacles facing users of electric vehicles in our country. These circumstances pose a real challenge challenge for around 20% of French driversespecially those living in buildings in dense urban areas, who do not have a power socket at home.

In short, thelack of a reliable, well-distributed network of charging stations considerably complicates their transition to electric vehicles.

In this article, we explore the various problems encountered around public charging stations in France and propose solutions for a more serene future for electric vehicle drivers.

Table of contents

Beev offers you charging stations at the best prices!

Key figures for charging solutions in France at the beginning of 2024

Since the start of 2024, 1,216 new stations have been added to the network, bringing the total number of charging stations to 5,338 new charging stations available to the public.

France currently has 123,347 public charging points (Avere figures as at February 29, 2024). This month saw 3,002 new installationsequivalent to growth of 2.49. All in all, there are 183 charging points per 100,000 inhabitants population.

Despite these encouraging figures, which demonstrate France's determination to develop electromobility, it should be noted that the growth rate fell below 40% for the first time in 12 months, with an increase of just increase of just 36%.. The availability of recharging points appears to be stabilizing at the start of the year, after a steady decline in 2023. 81 % in February 2024 for AC terminalscurrent charging points, with disparities depending on terminal power.

In fact, as we can see from the graph below, the availability of DC charging points is lower than that of AC charging points (availability in %). 

Charging point availability rate by month and power category

Source Source : Avere-France

Problems detected in the region concerning charging stations

Indeed, despite technological advances and a growing commitment to sustainable mobility, persistent problems are hampering the user experience. So what are the challenges facing the electric charging network in France? And what solutions are being considered to improve the accessibility and reliability of France's electric recharging network?

Increasingly frequent breakdowns

Recurrent outages at public charging stations are a major challenge for electric vehicle users. Despite efforts to extend the charging network, statistics reveal an alarming alarming increase in outage incidentscompromising system reliability.

As previously stated, Avere-France reassures us that availability would have reached 81% by February 2024. In other words, 1 bollard in 5 remains out of serviceThis is a rare occurrence at the petrol pump, except in the event of industrial action.

Negative impact on users

On the one hand, companies relying on electric vehicle fleetsmay face operational operational delays and financial losses due to charging failures on the move. These unplanned interruptions can negatively affect productivity and customer satisfaction.

On the other hand, drivers of electric cars for private use face major inconveniences on their daily journeys. Terminal breakdowns can lead to delaysdelays unscheduled journeys in search of alternative stations, and sometimes even emergencies if recharging becomes impossible.

Our electrifying recommendations for overcoming these problems

In fact, terminal failures can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as : 

  • acts of vandalism,
  • from technical problems,
  • a maintenance,
  • or unresponsive unresponsive after-sales service.

To solve these problems, it is imperative to implement effective measures. 

For example, it would be a good idea to : 

  • preventive maintenance, 
  • improve the monitoring and responsiveness of breakdown services, 
  • raise awareness among users of the need for responsible use of recharging infrastructures.

Disparity in the distribution of charging stations

France faces a major challenge when it comes to electric mobility: the uneven distribution of charging stations across the country. 

Although recharging solutions have been deployed in France, the number of number of charging stations remains insufficient for drivers and thedeployment strategy in different geographical areas.

And with good reason: here are the current statistics showing the distribution of charging stations by region (data updated to February 29, 2024).

METROPOLITAN AREAS NUMBER OF RECHARGING POINTS
Hauts-de-France
11 151
Normandy
6 634
Great East
11 853
Brittany
5 301
Île-de-France
21 412
Pays de la Loire
5 914
Centre-Val de Loire
5 156
Burgundy-Franche-Comté
4 850
Nouvelle-Aquitaine
11 998
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
14 484
Occitanie
12 015
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
11 161
Corsica
802

On the other hand, here's a tabular summary of the overseas regions:

OVERSEAS REGIONS NUMBER OF RECHARGING POINTS
Guadeloupe
126
Martinique
154
French Guiana
44
Reunion Island
292

Source Source : Avere-France

 

What's more, the majority of charging points deliver minimal power, which not only means longer waiting times between each car, but also overcrowding. 

Source: Avere-France

 

As a reminder, the proportion of operational AC charging stations charging stations is 81 %, 78 % for DC charging stations delivering less than 150 kW and 77 % for charging points with more than 150 kW.

That said, 33% deliver less than 7.4 kWequivalent to a household socket. If we include 7 and 22 kW charging stations, which account for 50% of all charging stations in France, the figure rises to 83%, an encouraging figure for motorists.

However, terminals with the right output (22 to 50 kW) represent less than 15% of theand, despite their renown, there are almost no rapids over 50 kW.

Negative impact on users

This disparity can discourage individuals considering a switch to electric vehicles. Indeed, the sometimes limitedrange of electric vehicles, coupled with a heterogeneous recharging network, can create a feeling of a feeling of insecurity for drivers on long journeys, fearing that no charging station will be available.

For professionals with fleets of electric vehicles, this imbalance can also pose logistical problems. Route and charging infrastructure planning must take into account the distribution of charging points, which can be complex in rural areas.

Our electrifying recommendations for overcoming these problems

There are several possible solutions to these problems:

  • Accelerate the deployment of charging stations in rural and suburban areas.
  • Support the development of fast-charging stations for faster vehicle recharging.

Alternatively, if you want to plan a route with your electric car to access all charging stations and their availability in real time, our article on the best route planners for electric cars may be of interest to you.

Electric car spaces taken over by combustion engines

Indeed, the spaces reserved for electric cars are increasingly coveted, given the exponential growth of eco-friendly vehicles over the last few decades. But that's not all, as a new problem is emerging: theoccupying these spaces with combustion-powered vehiclesThis deprives electric car users of access to recharging. This phenomenon, known as ICEd "(Internal Combustion Engine vehicle blocking EV Charging station), may or may not be intentional, but it has a negative impact on the adoption of electric vehicles.

Negative impact on users

The relative scarcity of charging stations, coupled with their occupation by non-electric vehicles, increases the time it takes to find an available station. This can be particularly stressful and frustrating for for long-distance drivers, and can lead to a loss of range for electric car drivers.

In addition, the uncertainty surrounding the availability of charging stations may discourage motorists from considering a switch to electric vehicles..

Our electrifying recommendations for overcoming these problems

It is important to remember signage and civic and civic-mindedness when parking on spaces reserved for recharging. Most major cities have introduced deterrent fines for poorly parked combustion-powered vehicles.


N.B. Thermal drivers risk a second-class fine, corresponding to a fixed fine of 35 euros (reduced to 22 euros and increased to 75 euros, rising to 150 euros in the event of a repeat offence).

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The rise and disparities in the price of public recharging

As a reminder, this 1ᵉʳ February 2024the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, confirmed theincrease in electricity ratesimpacting millions of French people.

This sudden increase is linked to the phasing out of the government's tariff shieldintroduced in October 2021 in response to tensions in the tensions in Ukraine.

Naturally, although home charging is impacted by the same rates, charging at public charging stations is also experiencing a slight upward trend. According to Qovoltisthe cost of recharging an electric car for 100 km varies enormously depending on location, and can even quadruple. For example costs fluctuate between €2.5 and €10.6.

But that's not all. disparities of up to 800% on the same terminal have been have been observed by the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir.

It should be noted that each operator sets its own rates, determined by various factors, including :

  • charges per minute,
  • cost per kilowatt-hour,
  • parking fees,
  • the operator's fixed costs.

These aspects raise major challenges for encouraging more individuals and professionals to embrace green mobility.

Negative impact on users

Indeed, the above points can affect electric vehicle drivers, especially those who don't have the option of recharging at home. This may encourage some to postpone recharging, which is not not optimal for battery health.

 

💡Did you know? It's recommended to keep the battery charged between 20% and 80% to avoid damage from full charge cycles.

 

In fact, users are directly feeling the financial impact of the rise in the price of public recharging. This increase can make recharging more expensive and less attractiveThis may call into question the economic viability of electric driving.

What's more, for many users, especially those on lower incomes, higher prices may limit access to public charging, thus jeopardizing the transition to electric mobility. the transition to electric mobility and exacerbating socio-economic inequalities.

Our electrifying recommendations for overcoming these problems

For both private individuals and electric fleet professionals, there are solutions to optimize charging costs:

  • Compare rates before plugging in.
  • Prefer home recharging during off-peak hours if you can.
  • Subscription offers with certain operators who offer low-cost monthly packages.

In addition, Beev offers a charging card giving access to over 300,000 charging stations throughout Europe. It's free and commission-free.

Also read : The impact of rising electricity prices on my electric car

Conclusion

While France has made significant progress by installing more than 100,000 public charging stations by May 2023challenges challenges remain for a smooth transition to electric vehicles.. The fact that one charging point in five malfunctions, and the uneven geographical distribution of charging points, accentuate the fear of running out of fuel. And let's not forget that there are a growing number of charging station scams.

Also read : Charging station: the new QR code scam

Together, professionals and private individuals can transform the landscape of public charging stations in France, offering a viable solution for electric vehicle drivers and encouraging mass adoption of this eco-responsible technology. In short, managing charging station outages requires a proactive proactive and collaborative approach from authorities, network operators and users, to ensure a reliable and convenient charging experience for all concerned.

By combining anticipation and action, we can contribute to a high-performance electric future accessible to all.

Picture of Maëlle Laurent
Maëlle Laurent

Committed to sustainable mobility, a sector revolutionizing the way we get around, I contribute to the energy transition through my articles.

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