More electric charge points in Germany

The number of publicly accessible charging points for electric vehicles in Germany increased significantly at the beginning of 2019, with 1,300 charging stations added in the first three months, the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) announced on Monday.

By the end of March, there were about 17,400 charging stations for electric vehicles in Germany, of which around 12 percent were fast chargers.

The BDEW noted that more than three-quarters of the charging stations for electric vehicles in German are operated by energy companies.

Commenting on the existing charging network, Stefan Kapferer, chairman of the BDEW executive board, noted that “in view of the currently low number of electric vehicles, today’s demand is easily met”.

Germany would need around 70,000 normal charging points and 7,000 rapid charging points for 1 million electric cars in order for electric mobility to “become a success story in Germany”, according to Kapferer.

In addition, if Germany is to meet its climate target for 2030 in the transport sector, 7 to 10 million e-cars would have to be put on the road, Kapferer stated.

According to recent figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), however, the number of electric cars on German roads in 2018 was only around 83,000.

To improve Germany’s charging infrastructure, German Justice Minister Katarina Barley recently announced plans for legislation to make it easier for owners and tenants to set up charging stations.

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer wanted to increase Germany’s share of electric cars through an additional 1 billion euros (1.12 billion U.S. dollars) for a subsidy program for private charging stations in the government’s 2020 budget.

Speaking at a mobility conference in Berlin on Monday, however, Scheuer rejected a one-sided promotion of electric mobility. The German transport minister thereby contradicted Volkswagen’s CEO Herbert Diess’ recent demand for the German government to focus only on electric mobility.

“We must remain diverse,” said Scheuer, calling for a technology-open approach. It was not yet possible to say which will be the best driving concept in 10 years and so Germany should also promote hydrogen and fuel cell technology, Scheuer added.