Our figure of the month 07/2022: Electric boom and lull in charging stations
The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport has put the stock of all-electric passenger cars at 618,460 for 2021 (as of Jan. 1, 2022). Even though this represents a somewhat lower growth rate than in the previous year (+126%), the number of vehicles on the road has almost doubled within a year. The ramp-up of electromobility has thus been confirmed for another year. The current discussion at EU level to completely ban the sale of cars with combustion engines from 2035 will likely confirm this development.
Although battery research shows that longer and longer ranges can be achieved per battery charge, the expansion of the public charging station network is an important contribution to reducing drivers' range anxiety and increasing the incentive to buy electric cars. However, since 2019, a steady drifting apart of the ratio of electric car to public charging station can be observed. While in 2019 the most favorable ratio was measured at an average of 3 electric cars per public charging pole, today, with 58,658 public normal and fast charging poles (as of June 2022 according to the Federal Network Agency), the ratio is 11 e-cars per charging pole. The expansion of the public charging infrastructure is significantly lagging behind the development of electric cars.
This is not a problem as long as electric cars are primarily used as second cars, for short trips and by households with private charging facilities. A problem may arise, however, if the electric car is to become a mass product as envisaged - which, in view of a share of 1.3% of the total vehicle population today, is still far from being the case.
The urgency to improve the ratio is given as the number of electric cars increases. Also, to accelerate the market penetration of electric cars, which will certainly become more difficult with each new potential buyer.
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