20 Apr 2022, 13:41
Sören Amelang

German e-car charging point subsidies so ineffective they need relaunch - energy industry

Clean Energy Wire

The German government's subsidy programmes for the rollout of public e-car charging infrastructure are so ineffective that they should be rebuilt from scratch, the country's energy industry has said. Due to bureaucratic hurdles, only 12 percent of approved funds are actually called up, according to lobby group BDEW, which includes 80 percent of charging point operators. "The funding procedures for public charging infrastructure are too complicated and too lengthy. They cause a great deal of bureaucracy for the applicants. For this reason, the subsidies are hardly ever called up," BDEW head Kerstin Andreae said. The association said existing programmes could be improved but argued a redesign from scratch would be much more efficient.

The rollout of charging infrastructure is hampered by a chicken-and-egg problem. Comparatively low numbers of electric cars provide little incentive for building the necessary charging infrastructure, while concerns about a lack of charging infrastructure prevents people from buying e-cars. Public support programmes are considered essential to overcome this hurdle. The BDEW said the current use rate of about one charging process per day is insufficient for a profitable operation. "This means that we need significantly more electric vehicles in order to utilise the charging infrastructure economically. This ramp-up must be done jointly by the vehicle industry and the energy sector."

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