FRANKFURT (DRIVERonROAD) – Germany said it’ll push all gas stations to provide electric car charging as part of its €130 billion ($146 billion) economic recovery plan to help reduce refueling issues and raise market demand for electric cars.
The plan could provide a major boost to the market for electric vehicles along with the wider stimulus program that included taxes to penalize ownership of large polluting combustion-engined sports utility vehicles and a €6,000 discount to an electric vehicle’s costs.
Germany’s announcement follows a French initiative launched last week by President Macron to support their electric car market.
“This is a very strong dedication to battery-powered vehicles and defines electric mobility as a future technology,” said the energy storage specialist The Mobility House, whose investors include Daimler (DAIGn. DE) and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.
“Internationally this places Germany in the leading support group for electric battery vehicles.”
As part of the government’s stimulus, €2.5 billion will be spent on battery cell manufacturing and charging infrastructure, a sector in which oil companies, utilities and carmakers, including Shell (RDSa. L), Engie (ENGIE.PA) and Tesla (TSLA.O), compete for supremacy.
Market demand for electric vehicles has been hampered by concerns about vehicles’ restricted operating range. Electric vehicles in Germany last year only accounted for 1.8 percent of new passenger car sales, with diesel and petrol vehicles accounting for 32 percent and 59.2 percent respectively.
According to German automobile agency KBA, of the 168,148 new registrations in May, only 5,578 or 3.3 per cent were electric vehicles.
Diego Biasi, chairman and ceo of Quercus Real Assets, said the German initiative would offer a major boost for the adoption of electric vehicles.
“We know that 97 percent of the reason they don’t buy electric cars is fear about the range.The German move is a way of trying to overcome this problem of insecurity as it insures you that there is still a gas station available.
As of March 2020 Germany had 27,730 charging stations for electric vehicles according to BDEW, Germany’s energy and water industry association.
According to BDEW, at least 70,000 charging stations and 7,000 fast charging stations are needed to attain a mass market for electric cars.
Thanks to advancements in battery pack design and cell chemistry, the efficiency of electric vehicles has increased by about 40 per cent in the past decade.
A similar increase in gasoline powered car fuel efficiency has resulted in a reduction in the number of petrol stations. The number of gas stations has fallen from 40,640 in 1965, to 14,118 in 2020, according to the roadside assistance organisation ADAC.