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Charging electric cars in Germany’s network: Ministry defends upper price limit

The Federal Ministry of Transport rejects the BDEW association’s criticism of an upper price limit for charging at stations in the planned Germany network. Contrary to the representation of the Association of Energy Suppliers, the existing charging infrastructure was also subsidized. In addition, the new locations should not be built in the immediate vicinity of the existing charging infrastructure, as the Ministry of Transport explained to heise online.

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) presented the plans for the Germany network a good week ago, which will include 1000 fast charging stations across the country, each with several charging points. He spoke of a “breathing upper price limit” of 44 cents / kWh. The BDEW responded with the opinion that there should not be a two-part market: with the Germany network, a subsidized, price-regulated charging infrastructure network and the existing charging infrastructure; it would no longer be economically viable through the Germany network.

The Ministry of Transport now emphasized to heise online: “We expressly do not share the BDEW’s assumption.” Contrary to his statement, the tender for the Germany network is a market-based competition. The existing charging infrastructure has so far been built mainly with subsidies. “The BMVI does not see the market suggested here, which is building up an area and demand-covering charging network purely on its own.”

The BMVI also announced that the current market design and the B2B and B2C prices had been examined with market research discussions and investigations prior to the invitation to tender. The B2B price of the Germany network moves within the existing market price corridor and does not affect the market. “Affected, however, are the so-called EMPs (Emobility Providers), who act as contractual partners between the end customer and the charging station operator. In some cases, high margins are taken here,” explains the ministry. “In the past, the ad hoc price was not designed to be particularly attractive in terms of pricing and easy access. This has now been changed for the Germany network.”

A holistic approach has been developed across all departments of the federal government in order to make the operation of charging stations more attractive. The aim of the tender is to sensibly supplement the existing charging infrastructure. If possible, the new locations should not be in the immediate vicinity of the existing charging infrastructure. “In order to protect the existing infrastructure and to prevent any economic interference, charging infrastructure with a charging capacity of at least 150 kW was taken into account when calculating requirements and determining the locations and search areas.” The Germany network will be in competition with the same use cases: fast charging for medium and long-distance mobility.

The Federal Ministry of Transport assumes that the greenhouse gas reduction quota as implementation of the EU Renewable Energy Directive II (RED II) will ensure additional income for the charging infrastructure operators in the coming years. This would lead to implications in the tender that would not be disregarded.

So far, charging at existing fast charging stations has cost 49 cents / kWh, sometimes more. The plans of the ministry that have become known so far are an advance notice. The tender is divided into one for more regional providers in September for charging stations, especially at traffic hubs, and charging stations along highways are to be tendered in autumn.


(anw)

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