London — The number of charging points for electric vehicles in Germany has reached 10,700 almost doubling on the year, underlining the up-front efforts by utilities for the mass roll-out of electric vehicles, German utility group BDEW said Monday.
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According to the semi-annual survey, which now also includes operators of parking spaces, over 3,300 new charging points were added so far this year.
Of the total only 530 are so-called fast-charging points (above 22 kW), it said.
"These figures impressively demonstrate that the energy industry is pushing ahead at a rapid pace on this front with a massive up-front effort," BDEW chief Stefan Kapferer said, adding that given the slow adoption rate of electric vehicles it is now up to the automotive industry to bring attractive models onto the market.
The BDEW, which represents some 1,800 utilities across Germany, has called for the next phase to be launched with some 70,000 normal and 7,000 fast charging stations needed by 2020 for a mass roll-out of EVs, according to its calculations.
"Since the operation of charging points is not yet profitable due to the low number of electric vehicles, the subsidy programs launched by the government are tremendously important," the BDEW added.
In March, the federal government launched a Eur300-million ($358-million) support scheme to install a network of 15,000 nationwide charging points for electric vehicles by 2020.
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The state of Bavaria, home to car makers such as BMW and Audi, has launched its own scheme to install a network of 7,000 charging points for electric vehicles by 2020 with the world's largest EV charging station currently under development on the A8 motorway with 144 points including 24 supra-fast chargers (350 kW).
According to developer Sortimo, the charging station at Zusmarshause is planned for 4,000 charges a day, which at full utilization would amount to an annual supply of electricity of 88 GWh.
Government, the auto industry and the utility sector all agree that the charging infrastructure is key to the mass roll-out of electric vehicles over the next few years.
Research into power demand of electric cars varies widely, but could be lower than initially thought with Berlin-based think-tank Energy Brainpool estimating around 2.5 TWh to 3 TWh of additional demand for electricity from 1 million electric cars a year.
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