The European Commission (EC) has announced that it has approved German plans for an electric vehicle charging network across the country. There is one catch: the energy to power the chargers must come from renewable sources.
The ‘Ladeinfrastruktur’ project will cost €300m over four years funded by the German government, and will involve the construction of 15,000 charging points. The BMVI (Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) is funding the construction of 5,000 DC rapid-charging stations at €200 million. A further €100 million is planned for the installation of 10,000 AC charging stations. All charging stations must be publically accessible. Contracts will be awarded through an open tender process.
The scheme aims to encourage a ‘significant uptake’ of electric vehicles and also make a ‘major contribution’ towards reducing emissions and improving air quality. The funding is expected to boost electric vehicles in Germany which, at 0.8% of new cars registered in Germany in 2016, is behind the curve in Europe in terms of adoption.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: 'Electric vehicles can provide real benefits to society by reducing harmful emissions and noise pollution. The German support scheme will encourage consumers and businesses to use electric vehicles, and will provide the necessary infrastructure in a cost-effective way in line with EU state aid rules.’
The European Commission is seeking to close the gaps between Member States' transport networks with its Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) plans, which began in 2014 with a budget of €24.05 billion up to 2020.
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