German public electric car charging network grows by 60%: BDEW

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s public network for electric vehicles expanded by 10,000 charging spots, an increase of nearly 60%, in the last year, the country’s electricity lobby said on Monday.

The tally rose to 27,730 spots in May, up from 17,400 a year ago, the BDEW industry association said. Fast-charging spots made up a share of about 14%, it said.

The data comes on the heels of fresh investment to expand electric vehicle infrastructure in Germany, which has been slow to embrace the shift towards battery-powered cars.

“The corona crisis is a great challenge for charging station operators. Therefore, it is even more relevant for them to receive government tailwind in the further build-out,” BDEW managing director Kerstin Andreae said.

As part of the country’s stimulus package unveiled last week, 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) have been earmarked specifically to build out electric charging spots and battery cell technology.

Around 280,000 electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids are currently registered in Germany. Existing public infrastructure can cater for 440,000 cars.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Michelle Martin