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Electric Parking Station Parking space : charge points for electric car

Germany to require all petrol stations to provide EV charging

Image credit: Annegordon | Dreamstime

The German government has said it will call for all petrol stations in the country to offer electric car charging to help ease refuelling concerns and support demand for EVs as part of a €130bn economic recovery plan.

The initiative could provide a significant boost in EV demand as part of a broader stimulus plan proposed by the German government. These include taxes to penalise ownership of large polluting combustion-engined cars, such as SUVs, and a €6,000 (£5,400) subsidy toward the cost of an electric vehicle.

Germany’s announcement follows a similar plan in France to boost electric car sales, announced last week by President Emmanuel Macron. 

“It’s a very clear commitment to battery-powered vehicles and establishes electric mobility as a technology of the future,” said energy storage specialist The Mobility House, whose investors include Daimler and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

The company added: “Internationally, this puts Germany in the leading group of battery electric vehicle support.”

As part of the government plan, €2.5bn (£2.24bn) will be spent on battery cell production and charging infrastructure. This is a field where oil majors, utilities and carmakers - including Shell, Engie and Tesla - are vying for dominance.

Customer demand for electric cars has been constrained by concerns about range. In Germany, electric cars made up only 1.8 per cent of new passenger car registrations last year, with diesel accounting for 32 per cent and gasoline 59 per cent. According to German vehicle agency KBA, of the 168,148 new-car registrations in May, 5,578 (3.3 per cent) were electric cars. 

Diego Biasi, chairman and co-founder of Quercus Real Assets, an investor in renewable energy ventures, said the German plan would help consumers feel more comfortable buying an electric vehicle.

We know that 97 per cent of the reason why they’re not buying electric cars is range anxiety,” Biasi said. “The German move is a way to try and fix this range anxiety, since it means you know a petrol station is always open.

As of March, Germany had 27,730 electric car charging stations, according to BDEW, Germany’s association for the energy and water industry. It also said that to achieve a mass market for electric cars, at least 70,000 charging stations and 7,000 fast-charging stations are required. 

Electric vehicle range has improved by around 40 per cent in the past decade, thanks to improvements in battery pack design and cell chemistry.

A similar improvement in the fuel efficiency of ICE-driven cars has led to a reduction in the number of petrol stations. According to roadside assistance association ADAC, the number of stations has fallen from 40,640 in 1965 to 14,118 in 2020.

According to a report published by Statista, as of October 2019, there were 34,639 publicly available charging stations for electric vehicles in Germany. This was 23 times as many as were found in 2012.

The most common type used was normal charge with up to 22kW, whereas Combined Charging Systems (CCS) were the most numerous fast-charging type, with 2,559 installed units. 

This increase in charging stations throughout the country is a result of growing efforts to help further electric mobility as a step away from fossil fuel-dependent infrastructure, the report said.

Furthermore, by mid-2019, a total of 170,149 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) were spread throughout Europe - the greatest number of which were found in Germany.

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