The new decade is all about climate protection – and one of the major challenges we face is climate-friendly (electric) mobility. The new EU emissions target, which comes into force in 2021, is an important milestone: It calls for average emissions from passenger cars to be reduced to 95 grams CO2/km.

Comply with limit values

The key criterion for this is the manufacturers’ fleet emissions as of 31 December 2020, which are based on the carbon emissions of new cars sold. The actual threshold is different for each manufacturer, as it also depends on the average vehicle weight. If the limits are not met by the end of the year, a fine of 95 euros per gram of target missed per vehicle will be imposed. In order to comply with these limits, the proportion of electric vehicles must increase by the end of the year, because cars with emissions of less than 50g of CO2/km will count more towards achieving the fleet target.

 

10 million electric vehicles by 2030 in Germany?

The promotion of electromobility has already gained momentum since the end of 2019 when the Master plan for charging infrastructure was adopted. This plan includes measures for building a nationwide charging infrastructure for up to ten million electric vehicles by 2030. In the next two years alone, 50,000 public charging points are to be built. The master plan also includes financial incentives for private charging facilities. All of this is aimed at encouraging potential buyers to opt for an e-car. But what is the current status of the charging infrastructure in Germany?

öffentliche Ladepunkte sollen entstehen

Development of the charging infrastructure in Germany

A lot has happened since our latest blog entry on the subject of charging infrastructure. According to the Charging point register of the German Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW), around 24,000 publicly accessible charging points are available – 8,000 more than a year ago. This represents an increase of 50 percent. However, calibration remains a critical issue fuelling uncertainty in the creation of a public charging infrastructure. The challenge is that users must be able to rely on the fact that the amount of electricity is displayed accurately down to the last kilowatt-hour and presented accordingly in the bill. Do billing and data transmission comply with the requirements of calibration law? Conformity with calibration law must be confirmed by a type examination certificate issued by a state-approved testing body. As things stand today, only a small number of meters comply with calibration law. This is especially true for fast-charging columns using direct current to charge vehicles. Only the charging systems of one manufacturer were tested and approved accordingly; the manufacturer expects them to be available by February 2020. According to an anonymous surveyconducted as part of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s ICT Technology Programme for Electromobility, eleven of the seventeen manufacturers who responded stated that their direct current solutions are currently undergoing the conformity assessment procedure. Five other manufacturers intend to submit an application by summer 2020. Of the manufacturers surveyed, seven expect to be ready for series production in 2020 – so improvements in conformity with calibration law are definitely in sight.

Electricity charging stations: pricing remains mysterious

Pricing policies varying substantially from charging station to charging station remain another hurdle on the way to more electric mobility suitable for everyday use. Each provider offers a choice of different tariffs: billing by the kilowatt-hour, a monthly flat rate or a mix of monthly basic fee and reduced price per kilowatt-hour. It is important to distinguish between the actual charging point operators and so-called roaming providers, who have negotiated certain charging terms with the operators. As a result, prices at a given charging station may vary due to different tariffs applicable there.

An example:

Take, for example, the rapid charging columns from Ionity, a joint venture of several major automobile manufacturers: In mid-January 2020 a new tariff of 79 ct/kWh was announced. Previously, a flat rate of 8 euros was billed for each charging process, regardless of the amount of electricity delivered. However, the new billing by kilowatt-hour is only applicable when using the Ionity app. If the charging station is used based on offers of other mobility service providers, customers can expect different terms. For example, EnBW’s tariff for an Ionity charging point is 39 ct/kWh.

It will be interesting to see how things shape up

Currently, many providers of charging stations are about ready to go. Further improving and enhancing hardware is an important step towards conformity with calibration law – and paves the way for more electromobility. TÜV Rheinland is also dedicating significant resources to working on this topic. For example, we developed an overall concept for the construction and operation of a charging infrastructure. It will also be important to simplify tariff options for charging and thus make the electric car more attractive for consumers. In the next months, we will see how the market accepts the pricing models and how prices will develop. The future will definitely be exciting!

Author

Carlo Kammler

Carlo Kammler

Network Consulting & Planning

In the Network Consulting & Planning department, Carlo Kammler’s work focuses on electromobility and the development of a charging infrastructure. The graduate economist (M.Sc.) advises both the public sector and companies in this respect. He has been with TÜV Rheinland Consulting GmbH since 2016 and is responsible for projects on a national and international level – from intelligent power supply to technical implementation consulting for an innovative charging station concept in the automotive industry.

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