17 Aug 2021, 13:29
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany launches tender to quickly expand countrywide e-car charging network

Clean Energy Wire

The German transport ministry (BMVI) has launched a tender scheme to accelerate the construction of charging stations for electric cars across the country. With its "Deutschlandnetz" (Germany network) scheme, the ministry aims to find companies to build around 1,000 charging stations equipped with several charging points each in areas designated by the government. The ministry caps the price customers have to pay at 44 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), meaning the cost for charging an e-car will be "below the price for diesel fuel”. Conservative (CSU) transport minister Andreas Scheuer said the aim is that the closest charging station for e-car users "must be reachable within ten minutes" anywhere in the country. "This is the only way we can encourage people to embrace climate-friendly mobility and switch from combustion engines to e-cars," Scheuer said. The BMVI has set aside two billion euros for the Deutschlandnetz scheme and will award tenders for charging stations on country roads and later also on motorways that "erases the last blank spots on the map”, said Johannes Pallasch of the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure. He argued the switch from financial support for charging point operators to an auction system represents a "paradigm shift" in Germany's approach to getting the infrastructure for e-mobility in place. The auction system for non-motorway installations addresses local companies, the ministry said.

After years of sluggish growth, the number of e-cars registered in Germany has grown strongly since 2020, fuelled by a generous support scheme that co-funds the purchase of e-cars. The goal to have one million electric vehicles on the road has been reached with about six months delay in July this year and the figure is expected to multiply several times over during the next decade. High costs, low range and a lack of charging infrastructure are the main reasons German customers still shun electric cars, while a quick adoption of e-mobility by millions of car drivers is seen as essential for the country to improve its lacklustre emissions reduction record in the transport sector.

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