08 Feb 2021, 13:51
Charlotte Nijhuis

Audi wants to build its own fast-charging infrastructure for e-cars


German carmaker Audi plans to set up its own charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Company head Markus Duesmann told business daily Handelsblatt at least 30 percent of Audi cars sold in Europe will be electric by 2025, and that the public charging infrastructure might not be sufficient. "We don't want sales of our vehicles to fail due to a lack of charging stations." Audi is a Volkswagen subsidiary, and Duesmann presented a draft plan for a fast-charging infrastructure with at least 200, and up to 400 stations, to the board of the Group. Sportscar brand Porsche, which is also part of the group, could also become part of the exclusive charging network, according to the report.

The German Federal Association for E-Mobility (BEM) was highly critical of Audi's plans, the article said. It said the draft is "not in line with existing specialised laws and their definitions, lacks knowledge of electrotechnical fundamentals, lacks knowledge of regulatory fundamentals for market-oriented structures and lacks an overall understanding of electromobility, electric drives and the associated infrastructure."

At the same time, the German transport ministry plans to invest nearly two billion euros to increase the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles along the national motorway network, the Autobahn. By the end of 2023, around 1,000 charging stations should be constructed on the Autobahn and in remote parts of the country, according to a transport ministry draft.

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. Apart from public charging points, being able to charge e-cars at home or on commercial sites, such as workplaces or supermarket parking lots, is seen as key to providing the infrastructure necessary for electrifying the country's entire car fleet.

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