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The best European cities to own an electric vehicle

With electric vehicles becoming increasingly popular, Uswitch was keen to find out which European cities were the most EV-friendly.
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The environmental crisis has led to an increased demand for sustainable vehicles. Electric vehicles (EVs) have surged in popularity over the last decade, with a recent report finding that EV sales across Europe rose by over 1000% between 2014 and the first quarter of 2020. 

With their capacity to eliminate fuel emissions and reduce air pollution, switching to an electric vehicle has numerous benefits for the planet. While the advantages of electric vehicles are well-documented, there are still many drivers hesitant to purchase an EV due to logistical concerns like cost and a perceived lack of electric car charging points.

If we are to successfully encourage more drivers to go electric, then the widespread availability of cost-effective EVs and charging stations is imperative. Home EV charging stations are an under-utilised but economical way of charging your electric vehicle at home.

In a bid to discover which European cities were most committed to encouraging the use of electric vehicles, the EV charging experts at Uswitch conducted a study on 33 major European cities to find out which places were best equipped to accommodate the use of electric vehicles.

The best European cities to own an electric vehicle in

Best city to own an electric vehicle in - Image Module

Looking at the four main categories of average charging price, average distance between chargers, average charger power, and the percentage of free electric charging points, we gave each city a combined score out of 10 to determine the best European cities to own an electric vehicle in.

1. Reykjavik

With an overall score of 7.94, Icelandic capital Reykjavik was found to be the best European city in which to own an electric vehicle. Reykjavik fared well in all of our categories, with its average of just 0.55km between EV charging stations the joint second-best score on our list.

2. Glasgow

With a study best score of 92% for free chargers, Glasgow came second in our study with a final rating of 7.54. Despite obtaining high scores in most categories, Scotland’s most populated city had its score dragged down by a poor average EV charging power score of 17kWh.

3. Lisbon

Despite having a study-worst score of 1% for free chargers, Lisbon still fared strongly on our list. With excellent scores of €0.17 for average price per kWh and 0.76km for average distance between charging stations, the Portuguese capital obtained an impressive overall score of 7.31.

4. Budapest

With a final rating of 7.14, Hungarian capital Budapest was the highest-ranked central European city. With over half of its EV charging stations found to be free and an average charging power of 25kWh, Budapest achieved solid scores in all four of our categories.

5. Oslo

Fifth-placed Oslo is the second of three Nordic cities in our top 10. Despite a poor free charger percentage of 8%, the Norwegian capital achieved a final rating of 7.04 thanks largely to its excellent average charger distance of 0.61km.

The remainder of our top 10 is made up of Barcelona, The Hague, Prague, Antwerp, Helsinki, and Amsterdam, with the latter two sharing 10th place. Despite 60% of their electric charging points being free, Barcelona’s underwhelming charging power average of 18kWh prevented it from finishing higher on our list.

With a study best score of 0.48km for average distance between chargers, The Hague had its overall score compromised by a lowly score of 4% for free chargers. A similar story could be found with Prague, whose free charger score of 9% counterbalanced impressive results in the categories of average charger power and average charger price.

With an overall score of 6.76, Belgian capital Antwerp finished ninth in our study. Amsterdam and Helsinki finished joint 10th on our list with both receiving a final rating of 6.63.

The worst European cities to own an electric vehicle in

Best city to own an electric vehicle in - Image Module

1. Liverpool

With an overall score of just 4.89, Liverpool was found to be the least EV-friendly city in our study. The Merseyside city’s average distance of 2.38km between chargers was the largest of all 33 places covered on our list.

2. Paris

With a score of just 14% for free chargers, the city of love could certainly do with being more charitable to its EV drivers. Despite an exceptional charger power average of 54kWh, the French capital’s overall score of 5.68 was the second-lowest on our list.

3. Vienna

With disappointing scores for free chargers and average charger power, Vienna ranks as the third worst city for EV owners. Though Vienna achieved an impressive price average of €0.28 per kWh, the Austrian capital’s poor scores in other categories contributed to a final total of 5.80.

4. Frankfurt

Frankfurt is next on our list, edging ahead of Vienna with a 5.81 rating. The city that’s home to the European Central Bank was found to be taxing towards its EV drivers, with the average charger price of €0.45 per kWH among the highest on our list.

5. Cologne and Rotterdam

With a free charger percentage of just 7%, Cologne is the second German city to finish in our bottom five. With an average charging cost of €0.39 per kWh and an average distance of 1.22km per charger, the West-German city received an overall score of 5.89.

Rotterdam shared fifth place with Cologne thanks to the Dutch city’s disappointing scores for free chargers and average charger power.

The final four places in our bottom 10 are Turin, Rome, Berlin, and Copenhagen. With final scores of 5.91 and 5.97 respectively, Italian cities Turin and Rome were found to be the seventh and eighth-worst cities for EV drivers.

An impressive average charger distance of 0.82km did not prevent Berlin from finishing ninth last in our study with a score of 6.03. Rounding off our list is Copenhagen, with the Danish capital’s average EV charging station distance of 2.24km contributing to a 6.21 rating.

Why should I switch to an electric vehicle?

With environmental health becoming increasingly perilous, the need to adopt more sustainable practices in our day-to-day lives has never been greater. By switching your fuel-powered car to an eco-friendly electric vehicle, you become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Though you may have been previously deterred by issues like cost and charger access, owning an EV in the modern day is more accessible and cost-effective than ever.

EV expert Ben Gallizzi tells us more:

 “Switching to an electric vehicle is easier than you might think. With more car options becoming available every year, going electric can be affordable and eco-friendly.

While the number of charging points in most places is increasing by the year, there are measures you can take at home so you don’t have to rely so heavily on the charging facilities in your area.

Investing in a home EV charging station is a convenient and economical way to maintain the charge of your vehicle. With so much high-quality home charging equipment now available, you can enjoy the full benefits of an EV regardless of where you live.”


Methodology and sources

About Ben Gallizzi

Ben is an energy expert and writes about a range of energy topics, including  industry news and money saving hacks for consumers. 

Ben Gallizi currently writes for Uswitch and, as well as recently being quoted in various publications, including Ideal Home, IFA Magazine and Forbes. 

Read more 

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