Top German Car Companies + Tank & Rast Discussing German EV Charging Station Buildout

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The top auto manufacturers in Germany — BMW, Daimler, and VW — are in discussions with the prominent Autobahn service provider Tank & Rast about a possible nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations, according to a story published by Bild Zeitung.


In the story, the German newspaper cites unnamed industry sources that note that Tank & Rast “is playing a key role in creating more charging points for EVs, (and) is open to working with interested parties on developing the network further.”

Notably, Daimler, Volkswagen, and Tank & Rast itself all refused to comment directly on the newspaper’s article. A spokesperson for Tank & Rast, though, did issue a somewhat bland statement, confirming that the firm was in “regular talks with interested parties.”

“However, there are currently no agreements that go beyond the existing program with regard to e-mobility,” he continued.

Automotive News provides some background on what exactly the existing program is: “Under a deal with the government, Tank & Rast, owned by a consortium led by insurer Allianz, will equip its roughly 400 service stations along German autobahns with fast-charging stations by the end of 2017. As many as 7,100 fast charging points are needed by 2020, according to the National Electric Mobility Platform, an advisory body which includes executives from the car, engineering and utility industries.”

As it stands, there are only 230 electric vehicle fast-charging points in Germany, according to the German utility association BDEW. So, there’s quite a ways to go if that 7,100 points by 2020 “necessity” is to be achieved.

As a reminder, the German government recently (earlier this year) launched a new €1 billion electric vehicle incentives and support program. The German auto manufacturers themselves, though, seem to be avoiding the release of truly compelling electric vehicles — presumably because doing so would spell the end of the current very lucrative situation (including highly profitable maintenance businesses associated with internal combustion engine vehicles).

For an example of what could be on offer if the German auto manufacturers were serious, take a look at the 55 kWh modified BMW i3 put together by Linear Technology and LION Smart.

Photo via DavidSmat (some rights reserved)

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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