27 Sep 2023, 14:16
Benjamin Wehrmann

German solar EV charging support programme closes after a day due to “overwhelming” interest

dpa / Reuters / BR

Only one day after opening a state support programme for installing solar panels for charging electric vehicles (EVs), Germany’s national development bank KfW closed the application process citing the high number of requests depleting the earmarked funding of 300 million euros in a matter of hours. Transport minister Volker Wissing commented that the programme had elicited “overwhelming interest” shortly after its launch. Some 33,000 applications had been submitted to the KfW, news agencies dpa and Reuters report in an article published by public broadcaster BR. “We ask all those interested to no longer submit any applications,” the state-owned bank said in a statement, adding that the programme would be reopened once new funding has been secured. Another 200 million euros have already been earmarked for the programme in the 2024 budget. Shortly after opening the programme for the first time on 26 September, KfW processed some 23,000 applications, but the bank’s online portal temporarily struggled to cope with the rush in demand. The support programme is meant for owners of EVs who couple their charging station with a solar PV installation and a battery. People installing the solar EV charging system in their own homes are entitled to up to 10,200 euros in support. However, to receive the highest level of funding, the system’s owners must allow their batteries to be used bi-directionally to provide storage capacity for the grid as a whole.

The government has set up a wide range of support programmes to encourage the adoption of more climate friendly technologies, for example for EV purchases, heating system modernisation or the efficient retrofitting of buildings. It had to suspend other support programmes managed by the KfW in the past due to the high number of requests. While support programmes are generally seen as an effective way to speed up the rollout of sustainable technologies, they have also been criticised for causing market distortion and simply funding purchases many customers would have made anyway.

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