Berlin (dpa) – After years of hesitation, the federal government and industry are accelerating the expansion of the charging station network.
“A high-level discussion on the issue of charging stations is currently being planned between the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Federal Ministry of Economics and industry,” the Ministry of Transport in Berlin said on request.
VDA Industry Association Director Hildegard Müller called a conference with federal, state and local governments, as well as representatives from other industries. “I want a cargo net summit with all the players, and that should take place before Christmas,” Müller said.
A ministry spokesperson initially declined to provide any details. However, he pointed out that the issue “is on the agenda of many professional meetings (…)”.
As examples, he cited the “Concerted Mobility Campaign”, where politics and the automotive industry have exchanged ideas since the end of 2019, and the meeting on the future of commercial vehicles last Wednesday.
In addition to federal, state and local authorities, Müller also wants to include building management companies, mineral oil companies, parking lot operators and airports in the meeting. “We need the new players at the table, all those who have to participate in the creation of a charging infrastructure,” he said in an interview with the German publishing network (RND / Friday).
Important topics included expedited planning procedures and simplified permits for charging stations at service stations, the expansion of green electricity, and an electricity charging exemption from the EEG surcharge. “The current charge has to be cheaper than diesel,” said Müller, also asking cities and municipalities: “Each municipality must now present an expansion plan for electromobility, every mayor must put this on top of the agenda”.
Lower Saxony Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) called for further efforts to build a charging network for electric cars across the EU and a coordinated expansion of renewable energy. “We assume that the CO2 emission savings targets will be significantly reinforced by the European Union,” Weil said in Hannover. “That means we have high-performance charging networks across Europe.” In addition to the auto industry, politicians must also “do their part to ensure that the transformation succeeds and that Germany remains an automotive location.”
Weil announced: “Lower Saxony will become a hub for electric mobility on an international scale.” There will also be such prospects for Wolfsburg and Osnabrück next year. To increase the capacity of its own battery cells, for example at VW in Emden, there are “constructive discussions”. Salzgitter already has a production plant.
The Federal Association for Energy and Water Management (BDEW) said that “the acceleration of electromobility needs both car manufacturers and the energy industry, logistics and housing.” The structure of the charging infrastructure is highly dependent on the need and number of vehicles, said Kerstin Andreae, chair of the BDEW board of directors. “With an electromobility summit, we can take a powerful and committed step forward together.”
VW is increasing its spending on alternative units and digital equipment to 73 billion euros by 2025, almost half of the total investment of 150 billion euros. More than € 16 billion will go to the Lower Saxony locations of Wolfsburg, Braunschweig, Salzgitter, Hannover, Osnabrück and Emden over the next five years The VKU utility association was open-minded.
The municipal companies had “made considerable advance payments,” VKU CEO Ingbert Liebing, the German news agency, said on Friday. “A joint charging summit where the energy and automotive industries come together to make electric mobility a success is therefore the right thing to do.” Liebing took particular account of the automobile industry. “The summit should not only serve to distract automakers from their own failures in the mobility transition in recent years,” he stressed.
Demand for electric cars is booming not only in this country, but also due to rising state purchase premiums, which are meant to boost demand amid the corona pandemic. In October, the number of newly registered cars with plug-in hybrid or electric powertrains was nearly 48,000, according to figures from the Federal Motor Transportation Authority (KBA). That corresponds to a market share in the month of 17.5 percent. For comparison: in January, with a good 16,000 cars, it still had a 6.7% market share. The federal government estimates that seven to ten million electric cars on German roads in Germany will be needed by 2030 to meet climate protection targets.
However, car traffic is still a long way from achieving this goal: at the beginning of 2020, only 0.5 (0.3) percent of fully electric or plug-in cars were in total 47.7 (2019: 47 , 1) million. Hybrid. Experts see the need to catch up, especially on the cargo network. The European association of manufacturers Acea recently pointed out that the expansion of the charging infrastructure was not keeping up with the growing demand for electric cars.
If it stays that way, customer interest will quickly decline again “and that would not be good for climate targets,” Müller complained. There is currently a charging point available for an average of 13 electric cars, and probably 20 cars will have to share one in just six months. Müller gave the example of the new BER airport in the capital, which has only 20 charging stations with 18,000 parking spaces. “They can’t be serious,” Müller said.