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.
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