According to a recent report, Europe may well have 4.1million electric car charging stations by 2020. Unfortunately, progress is currently being stymied a bit by some haggling about what plug to use on said chargers.

The matter-of-fact-titled Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment by Pike Research says that the lack of a singular agreed A/C charging connector may be a make or break factor – with the main schism between the Germans and the Italian/ French contingent. It does seem, though, that this issue is expected to be sorted eventually.

Germany has the biggest expected market for EVs, with France, the UK and Holland following. But for markets to flourish in each nation, the report urges more working together: consistent regulation and incentives unsurprisingly are strongly suggested.

There has been some steady progress UK-side of late: a twenty per cent rise in claims through the government’s Plug-in Car Grant this year compared to last. Indeed, 814 claims were made in the first half of 2012, while just 892 during the whole of 2012. While progress is steady on low-emissions vehicles in this country, few would doubt that it’s happening.

The first half of the year saw 99 claims through the Plug-in Van scheme, so it seems our green white van man has a little way to be fully convinced of the potential long-term cash and carbon savings of going electric.

The general theme here is things need to come together in order to achieve real cut-through for low-emissions vehicles. The more knowledge and information is shared, the more individuals and businesses can make informed decisions beyond sometimes sensationalism news reports. But then, maybe a little hype doesn’t hurt; a little celeb-endorsement maybe?

Leonardo Di Caprio is backing electric vehicles – albeit in the main, one that’s a bit more glamorous than a van – and one that you couldn’t get a cement mixer in. The star’s sustainability foundation has just teamed up with Fisker Automotive, makers of the high-end hybrid Karma luxury sports GT. Well, we mortals can dream…