Electric cars were once something for hippies and techies. Now, they have become a part of the mainstream auto industry. In fact, many traditional carmakers have even unveiled plans for all-electric vehicles in the coming years. With support from governments around the globe, electric cars are gaining traction with consumers.
A new ruling in Germany now requires all gas stations to provide charging stations for electric vehicles. The move comes as part of the country’s $147 billion coronavirus stimulus package. It could go a long way towards increasing the adoption of electric cars.
Moving in the Right Direction
Right now, electric vehicles are fairly uncommon in Germany. According to Reuters, fewer than two percent of cars sold in the country last year were electric. Aside from price, one of the biggest limiting factors to their adoption is anxieties about travel range and not being able to recharge. The new law is a noteworthy step to address that issue.
Germany reportedly has 14,118 gas stations. Planting electric vehicle chargers at every one of them will make charging far more accessible to those who want to ditch their gas-powered car.
Even so, it isn’t a perfect solution. Researchers note that Germany will need even more chargers before electric cars can go fully mainstream. One report notes that approximately 70,000 charging stations and 7,000 fast chargers will be needed. As of March 2020, Germany had just 27,730 such stations.
Nonetheless, it’s a big step in the right direction.
On top of the new gas station ruling, Germany is also rolling out an increase in subsidies for electric vehicles. It plans to up the amount from €3,000 to €6,000 (roughly $3400 to $6800) for vehicles that cost less than €40,000 (about $45,000). Moreover, the country will increase taxes on gas-guzzling SUVs.
Those changes should spark a good deal of consumer interest in electric vehicles as people look for ways to protect the environment without breaking the bank.
Energy storage specialist The Mobility House told Reuters, “It’s a very clear commitment to battery-powered vehicles and establishes electric mobility as a technology of the future… Internationally, this puts Germany in the leading group of battery electric vehicle support.”
Germany has a rich history of automobiles. As such, it is the perfect place to foster the electric vehicle revolution. Many of the world’s most notable automakers are headquartered in the country.
Companies like Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz all call Germany home. Meanwhile, Tesla is in the process of establishing its first European Gigafactory near Berlin. With an increasing number of carmakers investing in the sector, Germany could be the epicenter of electric vehicles. The latest changes will certainly help.
Notably, Germany isn’t the only country to recently roll out measures aimed at increasing the adoption of electric cars. On Thursday, France also announced a subsidy. It’s worth up to €12,000 (about $13,500) for individuals who buy an electric car.