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Agora Verkehrswende study co-authored by RLI: Municipalities are responsible for the expansion of charging infrastructure

July 14th 2020 | In a discussion paper, the Berlin think tank Agora Verkehrswende calls on cities and municipalities to push the construction and distribution of charging points for the rapidly growing number of electric vehicles more strongly than before. The paper was produced with the support of Reiner Lemoine Institute and shows that an intelligent mix of different charging modes is the best solution to meet the growing demand for charging infrastructure.

Combination of charging at home and on the road necessary

The calculations of Agora and RLI show that a combination of charging points at home or at work with a manageable number of public quick-charge hubs would be particularly advantageous. In this way, necessary investments in the electricity grid could be minimized and public space would not be excessively used for parking spaces with charging points.

If the potential of private charging points at home and at the workplace is not fully exploited, there is a risk of an increase in grid expansion costs, which would then also be reflected in the electricity grid fees, the authors warn. The Federal Government and the Länder should therefore push private charging – and local authorities should take supportive action “with all available instruments”: from development planning for new construction projects to information campaigns and the use of all support programs.

Public space for charging points will be scarce by 2030

Furthermore, fast charging hubs are most promising in places where public charging points are unavoidable. These are “filling stations” for e-cars, where several vehicles can be supplied simultaneously with high charging capacity and in a short time. In the coming years, this measure would even be sufficient to meet the demand for charging infrastructure. However, a model calculation for the Berlin roads shows that if the electrification of the transport sector increases to more than a fifth from 2030 onwards, there would no longer be enough space available to cover the energy requirements of all vehicles if no mix of charging modes is available.

As a think tank, Agora Verkehrswende is committed to supporting the complete decarbonization of the transport sector by 2050 with expert opinions and studies. As co-author of the current discussion paper, RLI contributed data and assessments from its research work and used the Localiser tool for geo-referenced site analyses.

The full discussion paper is available for download on the Agora Verkehrswende website (in German).