Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: May 20, 2024
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini
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Deployment of charging points in Germany: Government or companies, who pays for it?

The Federal Association of Energy and Water asserts in a recent report that the development and prospects of electromobility in Germany "remain positive," but thanks to whom? Below, Mobility Portal Europe explains it.
charging points Germany

The “Electromobility Monitor” published by the German Federal Association of Energy and Water (BDEW) indicates that “around 80 per cent of the expansion of charging services is carried out without federal funding.”

Furthermore, it details that the proportion of public points supported by the government dropped from 32 per cent in 2019 to 22 per cent in 2023.

Despite this, Germany is one of the leading countries in terms of deploying infrastructure for electric vehicles and exceeds national and European targets.

This means that the expansion of the charging offer in general is growing significantly faster than government-subsidised points.

In yellow, the charging points funded by the Government are indicated, in green the rest.

So, who is taking responsibility of this implementation?

Currently, the expansion is being driven more by the industry itself than by politics.

Mainly because the incentives are unclear.

For example, to boost the deployment of commercial fast chargers, the Federal Ministry of Transport (BMDV) had announced, among other measures, an allocation of 400 million euros.

However, this funding recently fell victim to the wave of subsidies that the government decided to cut due to the national budget crisis, approving only 12.3 out of the promised 400 million euros.

Jörg Reimann, Managing Director of Digital Charging Solutions.

Jörg Reimann, Managing Director of Digital Charging Solutions, stated in an interview with Autoflotte: “We are facing an important decision regarding the recharging infrastructure: who pays for it? The state or the companies?“.

In this sense, he assures that companies are prepared, but they need investment security.

The market is also faster than government programs when it comes to the nationwide expansion of High Power Charging (HPC).

According to the BDEW report, the “Deutschlandnetz” announced in October 2021 aimed to create 900 HPC charging points by the end of 2023.

The awards were made in September of last year, and the first station began operating in December.

The company responsible for these projects has been the Dutch company Fastned, whose collaboration will allow it to implement stations directly on German motorways for the first time.

In this way, it will play an active role in the development of a demand-oriented national fast charging infrastructure in the country, promoting competition on the routes.

However, during the same period, HPC equipment was installed privately “in 65 per cent of the 900 ‘Deutschlandnetz’ search areas.”

This makes it clear that deployment is continuing despite the “obstacles” that the government may be imposing.

The upside: The expansion of charging stations remains record-breaking

“The development and prospects of electromobility remain positive,” says the BDEW in its monitor.

With the addition of 32,733 public points, representing almost 40 per cent, and 1.5 gigawatts (GW), equivalent to around 45 per cent, since January 2023 the expansion of stations “remains record-breaking.”

In total, the public offer increased to over 118,000 chargers in 2023, with a total of 5.4 GW.

This indicates that the installed charging capacity is double what is required according to the new European targets.

With the new Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), the European Union (EU) sets minimum binding targets for Member States, based on the size of national vehicle fleets.

In this regard, the EU has decided to change the targets from installed charging points to installed charging capacity due to the introduction of ultra-fast chargers from 150 to 350 kilowatts (kW) in the market.

Furthermore, according to a recent report published by Transport&Environment (T&E), most countries already met their EU objectives for 2024 regarding public infrastructure in 2023, and Germany is one of them.

This overachievement is reflected in a consistently low simultaneous station occupancy of 12.5 per cent.

Specifically, utilization varies regionally between three and 23 per cent.

It is also worth mentioning that the country is close to achieving the 2025 targets and is just one step away from reaching those of 2026.

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