Germany’s Electric Car Charging Gap Narrows, But Significant Disparities Persist Across Regions

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Germany's Electric Car Charging Gap Narrows, But Significant Disparities Persist Across Regions
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The gap between supply and demand in public charging infrastructure for electric cars has decreased somewhat but remains substantial, according to a recent analysis by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) on charging point availability in Germany.

On average, there are now 21 electric cars per publicly accessible charging point in the country, compared to 23 vehicles per charging point in the last survey earlier this year. However, significant disparities persist, particularly between urban and rural areas.

In nearly half of Germany’s over 10,700 municipalities, there isn’t even one publicly accessible charging station. Additionally, eight out of ten communities lack a fast charger capable of rapidly recharging batteries, with fast chargers defined generously as those with charging capacities exceeding 22 kW.

The VDA identifies a significant need for catch-up in expanding charging infrastructure. “The expansion of charging infrastructure is one of the most urgent infrastructure tasks for Germany, but it has been neglected for far too long,” criticizes VDA President Hildegard Müller. The success of electromobility, she asserts, hinges on having sufficient charging options.

According to Müller, the availability of charging points is crucial for customer satisfaction. The fact that half of all municipalities have no public charging points is therefore “sobering” and highlights the need for political action.

To achieve the goal of one million public charging points by 2030, as mentioned in the coalition agreement and recently in the national industrial strategy, the pace of expansion must more than triple, according to the VDA. Additionally, the current power grid is not adequately prepared for the energy transition and the ramp-up of electromobility, necessitating faster expansion.

A recent Allensbach study commissioned by the VDA revealed that 68 percent of respondents are critical of the availability of charging options in their own surroundings. Sixty-one percent express concerns about the places where they shop, while 49 percent note deficiencies on highways and rural roads.

Saxony leads in the ratio of electric vehicles to charging points, with an average of 14 electric cars per charging point. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia also have similarly favorable ratios. In the comparison of federal states, Saarland lags behind, requiring more than twice as many electric cars as in Saxony to share a charging station.

Eastern German states also lead in the availability of fast chargers. In Thuringia, on average, 48 electric vehicles share one fast charger, and in Saxony-Anhalt, 50. This is significantly lower than the national average of 111. Bavaria made the most significant progress in expanding fast charging infrastructure in the recent past.

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William Wylie
William Wylie, a tech writer with a penchant for future tech, shares his perspective on the ever-evolving world of tech, offering a glimpse into the next big breakthroughs.