17 Nov 2020, 13:48
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany's charging infrastructure outgrows demand by e-car drivers – energy industry

Clean Energy Wire / Reuters

The number of public charging points for electric vehicles in Germany is growing rapidly but there are not enough e-cars on the road yet to utilise the infrastructure in an economically viable way, the country's energy industry group BDEW has said. Between April and November, the number of publicly accessible charging points grew by almost 20 percent to more than 33,000 despite the difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic. But even though e-car registrations have reached new record levels in the country thanks to generous subsidies, ”the number of e-cars is not yet large enough to ensure economically viable operation. We need an expansion of e-cars and charging infrastructure that is synchronised both in terms of time and of technology," said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae. According to the energy industry lobby group, there currently are about 240,000 fully electric cars and 200,000 plug-in hybrid cars registered in Germany, but a profitable operation of the charging infrastructure would require at least 550,000 fully electric cars, the group argued. Andreae stressed that 80 percent of the charging points are currently operated by the energy industry, which would now require political assistance to make sure that the increase in e-car registrations continues.

E-car registrations have been soaring in recent months thanks to government subsidies but potential customers continue to cite a lack of charging infrastructure as one of the main reasons why they hesitate from buying electric vehicles. The government's buyer's premium that grants customers up to 9,000 euros in support has been scheduled to run out at the end of 2021 but according to a report by news agency Reuters, the premium could now be extended until 2025 to sustain the transition.

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