The number of officially registered electric and hybrid cars is rising in Germany. This means the recharging infrastructure also has to grow. Therefore, a syndicate of leading car manufacturers has established a joint venture for the development of a public infrastructure of quick charging stations. This initiative can provide a good opportunity for Norwegian companies, especially with regard to billing solutions.
Increasing demand for electric and hybrid cars in Germany
As of January 1st 2016, 25 502 electric cars and 130 365 hybrid cars were officially registered in Germany. Compared to 2015, this is an increase of 35% and 21% respectively. Even higher growth rates of electric cars can be expected for 2017.
Nevertheless, as of January 1st 2016 the share of electric cars and hybrid cars was only 0.04% and 0.2% respectively of all 65.1 million registered cars in Germany. The German Federal Government has agreed to subsidization of purchases of new electric and hybrid cars in order to increase their market share in Germany.
Need for a better recharging infrastructure
If the number of registered electric and hybrid cars increases, the recharging infrastructure has to grow in the same way. As of the mid- 2016, there were 7 100 normal (several hours for charging) and 230 quick (only a few minutes needed for charging) public charging stations. The number of stations is obviously not sufficient in order to cover nationwide use and drive out the so-called “distance fear” associated with electric cars. This fear is also responsible for the restraint of German consumers to purchase of electric cars.
There are several initiatives and measures from different stakeholders which will confront this shortage of charging stations. The aim of the German Federal Government is 15 000 charging stations nationwide. The recharging infrastructure is supposed to comprise normal and quick charging stations. 300 million Euros has been provided by the German Federal Government for the development of a better recharging infrastructure: 200 million Euros for quick and 100 million Euros for normal charging stations.
Leading car manufacturers drive forward the expansion of the recharging infrastructure
One initiative in particular is worth mentioning in addition to the efforts from energy suppliers and operators of motorway services (Tank&Rast). Leading car manufacturers BMW, Daimler, Ford as well as Volkswagen (including its brands Audi and Porsche) established a joint venture for the development of a public infrastructure of quick charging stations at motorways and highly utilized thoroughfares. This joint enterprise will invest several hundred million Euros in order to enable electric driving over longer distances. The aim of this syndicate is to build thousands of quick charging stations in Europe; in the first phase, 400 charging stations will be built in the course of 2017.
This initiative can provide a good opportunity for Norwegian companies in connection with building the recharging infrastructure and especially for service providers with regard to billing solutions in the operational phase.