West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus which has caused repeated outbreaks in humans in southern and central Europe, but thus far not in northern Europe. The main mosquito vector for WNV, Culex pipiens, consists of two behaviourally distinct biotypes, pipiens and molestus, which can form hybrids. Differences between biotypes, such as vector competence and host preference, could be important in determining the risk of WNV outbreaks. Risks for WNV establishment can be modelled with basic reproduction number (R 0) models. However, existing R 0 models have not differentiated between biotypes. The aim of this study was, therefore, to explore the role of temperature-dependent and biotype-specific effects on the risk of WNV establishment in Europe. We developed an R 0 model with temperature-dependent and biotype-specific parameters, and calculated R 0 values using the next-generation matrix for several scenarios relevant for Europe. In addition, elasticity analysis was done to investigate the contribution of each biotype to R 0. Global warming and increased mosquito-to-host ratios can possibly result in more intense WNV circulation in birds and spill-over to humans in northern Europe. Different contributions of the Cx. pipiens biotypes to R 0 shows the importance of including biotype-specific parameters in models for reliable WNV risk assessments.