Despite EVs being just 1.3% of new car sales, public charging infra up 20% in Germany

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 04 Jan 2019

Germany, the world's fifth largest car market and home to one of world’s most robust automotive industries, has over 16,100 public and partially public electric vehicle charging points that are currently registered in the BDEW charging station register including 12 percent fast-charging stations. 

BDEW (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft) is the largest energy industry association in Germany, which has over 1,800 members, including local and municipal utilities as well as regional and inter-regional suppliers. According to the industry body, by end-July 2018 there were about 13,500 charging points, an increase of over 2,600 charging points (20%) - within five months. More than three quarters of the charging stations were operated by the energy industry.

"The energy companies continue to push the pace when expanding the charging infrastructure. Although thus far, not many EVs roll on the streets and the operation of the charging stations is hardly profitable. In Thuringia, Hamburg and Berlin, just a handful of electric cars utilise the charging points. The energy companies invest in the future and make their contribution so that the traffic turnaround finally picks up speed," said Stefan Kapferer, chairman of the BDEW executive board. 

According to BDEW at present, the Federal Motor Transport Authority has registered around 150,000 cars with electric or plug-in hybrid drive. Interestingly, of the 3.2 million new cars registered between January and November 2018, only 1.6 percent are electrically powered cars.

"The proliferation of EVs must move faster otherwise the transport sector will miss the climate protection targets by 2020. There are still no models that can compete in price and performance," said Kapferer.

According to a representative BDEW survey, around 29 percent of the respondents are already aware about EVs, and about five percent of them plan to purchase a green vehicle. According to BDEW, an important factor in the purchase of an EV is access to private charging infrastructure. Therefore, the apex body suggests the German government should increase its pace when it comes to facilitating the installation of charging infrastructure in the private sector through subsidies and adjustments to home ownership, where it estimates about 80 percent of the charging processes take place.