15 Feb 2021, 13:52
Sören Amelang

Additional charging points boost demand for e-cars – economic think tank

Clean Energy Wire

A rapid roll-out of charging infrastructure as planned by the German government could significantly speed up the uptake of electric vehicles, according to a report by the Rhineland-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI). Especially in densely populated areas, additional charging points lead to a substantial increase in the number of electric vehicles (EVs), and new fast-chargers appear to have a particularly strong effect, the researchers said, based on a regional analysis of charging point and electric car densities. "An increase of conventional charging points by ten percent leads to a 5.4 percent increase in e-cars purchases," the institute said in a press release. "The effect of additional fast charging points on the demand for e-cars could even be about four times as large, although this value is associated with a higher statistical uncertainty."

"Our analysis suggests that insufficient charging infrastructure remains a binding constraint on the uptake of EVs," the study states. "So far, electric vehicles in particular have been subsidised to promote electromobility in Germany. If more is now invested in the expansion of the charging infrastructure, the demand for electric cars could increase significantly. For the most effective promotion, however, it would make sense to take into account the regional differences in demand for e-mobility," said RWI environmental economist Colin Vance.

Last week, the German government decided to launch a tender for the construction and operation of a nationwide fast-charging network at 1,000 locations that should be operational in 2023. A lack of charging infrastructure is often seen as a bottleneck for the rollout of millions of e-cars over the next decade. E-car sales have picked up significantly thanks to national support programmes in recent months.

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