17 Sep 2021, 12:45
Kerstine Appunn

New EV chargers in Germany must be equipped with debit/credit card readers

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s new regulation on charging stations cleared the last hurdle today when the second parliamentary chamber representing the 16 German states (Bundesrat) passed a reform that requires all future e-car charging points to have a debit or credit card reader. The new rule, which will come into effect in June 2023, has been highly contested, pitting the energy industry and car manufacturers against the consumer and car driver lobby. Energy industry association BDEW said the card reader obligation would delay the transition to cleaner transport. It would increase the costs of the charging infrastructure, make charging power more expensive, and slow down the expansion. Digital payment options as used for online shopping, e.g. via apps or Paypal would therefore be sufficient, the BDEW argued. Consumer group vzbv, on the other hand, argued that “relying solely on digital payment solutions is the opposite of simple and excludes many consumers. Card payment is well-known, transparent and desired by consumers.”

The federal government’s e-car charging infrastructure legislation aims to promote the ramp-up of electromobility. There are currently more than 46,000 public charging points but the system of operators, contract models and tariffs is opaque. High costs, low range and a limited and complicated 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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