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Expanding the charging infrastructure drives electromobility

About two years ago, the German government decided to launch an incentive program for e-mobility. Since the beginning of 2017, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure’s charging infrastructure program been contributing to investments in the development of a nationwide, publicly accessible charging infrastructure. The program intends to help establish a comprehensive and needs-based charging network with at least 15,000 new charging stations by 2020. To this end, the German government has set aside 300 million euros for the period from 2017 to 2020. 

The initiative has been well received by private investors and municipalities alike: The first two calls for applications attracted over 3,000 submissions, with 15,803 charging points being granted funding, 2,330 of which will be high-speed charging stations. This will more than double the number of existing charging stations. The third call for funding followed in November of 2018. The German government has earmarked around 70 million euros for this appeal alone, which will finance the construction of up to 13,000 charging points.  

Cities around the globe are getting charged up

Ctites and municipal communities, too, have recognized the need to expand the charging infrastructure in order to promote e-mobility in Germany and worldwide. So cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam have an international reputation as being forerunners in e-mobility. But German cities are also getting charged up. Take Hanover, for example. As the concession-holder for the charging infrastructure network in Hanover, enercity AG will construct 480 charging points by the end of 2020. The most recent German city to follow suit has been Cologne by presenting the city council a resolution proposal for the site concept “charging infrastructure on public roads in the city of Cologne” in 2019. 

Business models with positive rates of return 

From operating fleets of electric vehicles to charging at work to equipping public parking lots, gas stations and highway rest stops with electric charging options, expanding the commercial and industrial charging infrastructure offers a foundation for many appealing business models. According to the most recent analysis by Aurora Energy Research, positive rates of return are possible in any of these areas – as long as users pay for the power used and operators reach a margin of five to eleven euro cents per kilowatt hour (depending on the approach). 

By 2040, the power demand generated by electric vehicles in the commercial and industrial sectors could reach between 13 and 17 terawatt hours per year in Germany alone, representing approximately 3 percent of the country’s current power consumption. Two to four million charging stations will be needed to meet this demand, requiring an investment of up to eight billion euros. 

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related conference sessions:

Technology Trends for Charging Infrastructure  

Setting Up and Running Charging Networks in Europe

Bidirectional/Smart Charging: Using the Full Potential of Batteries

Power2Drive Europe exhibition forum: program available by end of March

Cities around the globe are getting charged up

Photo: EV Box