Germany readies for new charging masterplan
A portion of a multi-billion-euro decarbonisation scheme will be used to expand the country’s infrastructure, with a particular focus on fast charging
The German federal ministry for digital affairs and transport (BMDV) will utilise €4.7bn of the country’s €211.8bn climate and transformation fund, or KTF, allotted to e-mobility for 2024 to launch its so-called charging infrastructure master plan II, the ministry tells EV inFocus.
The plan “bundles 68 measures from the areas of transport, construction and energy, and creates the basis for a comprehensive, needs-based and user-friendly car and truck charging infrastructure", the BMDV says.
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The ministry also plans to augment public money by “mobilising private investment” and removing “bureaucratic, technical and practical obstacles in the planning, approval and construction of charging infrastructure”.
The €4.7bn only accounts for the first year of the fund, which is set to run from 2024 to 2027 and aims to further the country’s progress to its goal of greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. The portion dedicated to e-mobility growth is set to increase to €13.8bn by 2027.
Facilitated by the SchnellLG fast charging act, the ministry has been given the task of “ensuring the nationwide and needs-based provision of fast charging infrastructure,” as part of what is being called the Deutschlandnetz.
The BMDV will be prioritising rest spots along federal motorways, such as service areas or truck stops. Many of these already have charging stations installed, but these are often far slower than the fast chargers the ministry wants to see installed, which will have a capacity of at least 300kW.
“In future, the next fast charging option should be accessible within 15 to 30km along the federal motorway,” says the BMDV. “The location of the approximately 1,000 sites are based on a comprehensive scientific transport needs analysis by the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure, which also takes the existing infrastructure into account.”
A 15-30km target for distance between motorway fast charging and 300kW chargers would go substantially further than ambitions laid out in the EU’s alternative fuel infrastructure regulation (Afir), which was adopted into law in late July by the European Council of Ministers. This legislation dictates that, from 2025 onwards, fast recharging stations of at least 150kW for cars and vans need to be installed every 60km along the EU’s main transport corridors, the so-called trans-European transport (TEN-T) network.
And recharging stations for heavy-duty vehicles with a minimum output of 350kW need to be deployed every 60km along the TEN-T core network, and every 100 km on the larger TEN-T comprehensive network from 2025, with complete network coverage required by 2030.
“According to German Association of Energy and Water Industries, or BDEW, evaluation, Germany is on track to meet the Afir targets, even if they are quite ambitious,” German charging firm EnBW told EVinFocus earlier this month. It remains to be seen if a much more challenging reduction in target distances between charging sites and higher-powered chargers will be as feasible.
But EnBW is amenable to the idea of regulators creating the right conditions and then getting out of the way on execution. “Within a competitive market environment, charge point operators will develop the best solutions for their customers and speed up the construction of charging infrastructure,” it says.
“The Afir sets important guidelines in a political context, and less for companies themselves,” EnBW stresses. “We further expand our, already biggest, fast charging network in Germany to meet customers’ needs and demands.”
The ministry will also be offering financial assistance for charging infrastructure in non-public spaces. “The funding programme ‘promotion of non-publicly accessible fast-charging infrastructure for SMEs and large companies’ provides financial support for the development of fast-charging infrastructure, including grid connection, for the operation of commercially-used cars and trucks,” says the BMDV.
The ministry will also be providing a funding guideline called ‘solar power for electric cars’, which “is aimed at promoting self-supply of electricity when charging in private residential buildings through the combined promotion of charging stations, photovoltaic systems and storage”. Applications for both programmes are expected to be open from this autumn, suggesting the BMDV is very much ready and raring to go.
While charging is the focus, it will not be the sole e-mobility beneficiary of the public money. “From 2024, the promotion of semiconductor production will also be funded from the KTF,” says the ministry.
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