30 May 2024, 13:28
Carolina Kyllmann

Fast charging points to become mandatory for large petrol station operators in Germany

Clean Energy Wire / n-tv

Large petrol station companies will need to offer at least one fast charging point for electric vehicles from 2028, according to a draft law agreed by Germany's government cabinet. Operators owning at least 200 petrol stations will be obliged to offer a charging point with a minimum capacity of 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) at all stations. The government said the move will add about 8,000 new fast charging points at across the country and should address the "chicken-and-egg problem" that electric mobility currently faces: "There are too few charging points, so customers are reluctant to buy an electric vehicle because they can't be sure they'll be able to charge it where they need to," state secretary Steffen Hebestreit said at a press conference. "At the same time, it is often not yet worth installing a fast charging station because the market does not yet exist for it, as there are not enough electric vehicles that use them."

"To ensure that even more citizens decide to switch to an electric vehicle, sufficient public charging points must be available, especially in large cities and urban centres," Hebestreit said. Utilities association BDEW was critical of the draft law, saying that the use cases for charging electric vehicles are different from refuelling combustion engine cars, and that infrastructure was being developed in line with demand. "In view of this positive market development, there is no justification for such a tough regulatory measure," BDEW head Kerstin Andreae said. She added that the government should instead focus on affordable electric vehicle models to achieve its aim of having 15 million on the road by 2030. Achim Bothe, head of Aral, Germany's largest supplier on the petrol station market, also rejected the planned requirement. "We should concentrate on locations where we see the greatest potential for demand and utilisation," Bothe was quoted by broadcaster n-tv as saying. "Not all petrol stations need a charging point."

The government plans to bring the number of public charging points for electric vehicles to one million by 2030. The number has been criticised by the BDEW also in the past, who said that as chargers become more efficient, the focus should be on capacity instead of the number of chargers. Electric mobility is a cornerstone of the country's aim to reach climate neutrality by 2045.

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