HANDELSBLATT EXCLUSIVE

German Retailers Join E-car Infrastructure Expansion

Elektroauto electric car charging e-car BMW i3 – 74938036
Picture source: DPA

German supermarkets and other large retailers plan to invest millions in e-mobility, doubling the numbers of charging stations for electric vehicles at their stores, Handesblatt has learned for the HDE German Retail Federation.

“In the retail sector, we plan to build around 200 new charging stations in 2017,” Jan-Oliver Heidrich, head of the retail federation’s energy committee, told Handelsblatt. Mr. Heidrich is also managing director of the energy service company EHA, a subsidiary of the supermarket group Rewe.

The majority of the charging stations will be installed in customer parking lots, where consumers can charge cars while shopping. The German National Platform for Electric Mobility (NPE), a body which advises the German government on e-mobility, says that based on current demand projections, there is a need for 7,100 new fast-charging stations by 2020. At the increased rate of installation, retail outlets could supply up to 1,000 of these.

The expansion of German infrastructure for electric vehicles has picked up strongly in recent months, after a long period of sluggish growth. The new momentum is partly due to a government investment scheme, which provides €300 million in subsidies to encourage private firms and public-sector bodies to build new recharging stations.

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