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EU approves German scheme to roll out 952 charging points on motorway network

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €350 million German scheme to support the rollout of high-power charging (HPC) infrastructure for electric vehicles along the German motorways. The scheme will see 952 HPC points installed in around 200 motorway locations.

Last December the EU approved a German scheme worth €1.8bn  to roll out 8,500 HPC points across 900 urban, suburban and rural locations.

time-lapse of vehicles on road during night

Such permissions are needed as the Treaty generally prohibits state aid unless it is justified by reasons of general economic development. 

Under the German scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants for the installation of each HPC point, as well as for the operation of the HPC infrastructure. The scheme will be open to all companies active in the construction and operation of recharging infrastructure. The projects will be selected through an open, competitive and non-discriminatory bidding process.

EU is mandating the roll out of charging infrastructure along the trans-European transport (TEN-T) network, whereby recharging stations of at least 150 kW need to be installed every 60km. 

The Commission found that the German scheme is ‘necessary and appropriate to allow for the deployment of HPC infrastructure at a large scale, thereby contributing to the EU’s strategic objectives related to the green transition, notably the objectives of the European Green Deal and the ‘Fit for 55′ package. In addition, the Commission found that the aid will have an ‘incentive effect’, as the beneficiaries would not carry out the relevant investments in the absence of public support.’

The Commission also decided that the scheme was proportionate, in so much as the aid will be limited to the minimum necessary and ‘will not have undue negative effects on competition and trade in the EU’. In particular, the German authorities will ensure that the prices for recharging electric vehicles at the newly deployed HPC points are in line with those of comparable existing infrastructure. On this basis, the Commission approved the German scheme under EU State aid rules.

Photo by Caleb George

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