Electric cars, vans, trucks and buses will play a key role in reducing some of the negative impacts of road transport on human health, the environment and climate. Faced with a growing transport demand, electric vehicles alone cannot be enough to achieve a sustainable road transport in Europe. They need to be seen within the wider mobility system, with a focus on mobility need and alternative modes of transport.

How to increase the uptake of electric vehicles

Our latest Europe's environment — State and outlook report (SOER 2020) identified the following measures used across Europe to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles:

  • financial support to the electric vehicle industry;
  • public investments in charging infrastructure or subsidies for home chargers;
  • public procurement of electric vehicles (e.g., for municipal vehicle fleets);
  • state aid for electric public transport;
  • indirect consumer incentives such as preferential access to bus lanes, free or preferential parking, access to low‑emission zones, free charging at public stations and road toll exemptions;
  • consumer outreach and education policies; and
  • regulatory incentives such as sales targets for electric vehicle manufacturers or bans on sales of internal combustion engine vehicles.

Renewable energy in transport

From biofuels to wind-generated electricity, different renewable energy sources are used across the transport sector.

The share of energy from renewable sources used for transport in the EU increased from under 2% in 2005 to 10.2% in 2020. This means that, collectively, the EU Member States reached the 10% target for the share of energy from renewable sources in the transport sector.

Preliminary EEA data indicate that in 2021, the share of energy from renewable sources used for transport in the EU stabilized at around the same level (10.2%). Progress among the EU Member States varies significantly, from 5.6% in Greece to 34% in Sweden.

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