Infrastructure first: Leaseurope Director General urges caution in mandating EV adoption

Richard Knubben of Leaseurope, asserts that the hurdles related to the high prices and inadequate charging infrastructure for EVs were largely anticipated, writes Alejandro Gonzalez. 

Credit: RaffMaster/

Responding to a recent Financial Times editorial discussing the challenges faced by electric vehicles (EVs), particularly concerning high prices and inadequate charging infrastructure, Richard Knubben, Director General of Leaseurope, argued that much of this was anticipated. 

Knubben highlighted that while governments have been advocating for the swift adoption of electric vehicles, this push has often outpaced engineering readiness and has not adequately considered economic factors. 

He argues for a flexible approach to transition to widespread adoption of EVs in Europe, emphasising the need for sustained investments in infrastructure. Critical among these investments is the improvement of high and medium-voltage power grids to support the charging requirements of electric vehicles. 

Knubben urges governments to proceed cautiously with mandating EV adoption, stressing the importance of first ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place to avoid potential backlash from consumers and businesses. 

Instead of imposing mandates, Knubben suggests that governments should adopt a comprehensive strategy encompassing demand stimulation, taxation policies, vehicle availability, infrastructure development, and grid enhancements. 

This approach, he says, should address the long-term challenges and opportunities associated with replacing century-old technology. 

Knubben, representing an umbrella organisation that unites 46 national associations across Europe — including bank-owned, captive, and independent lessors, as well as long- and short-term automotive rental companies — will likely echo the sentiments of many within the European motor finance sector.