By the end of 2023, the national charging infrastructure control center set up by the federal government is to ensure that Germany has a network of 1,000 stations for fast charging of electric cars. But the required location tender has already been postponed to 2021 and should not be finished well before the end of the year, so that not much concrete can be expected for the time being. This means that German electric car drivers are temporarily dependent on purely private projects. And here, alongside Tesla, the energy supplier EnBW is becoming more and more prominent, which has now announced another expansion of its network of fast charging locations by up to 80 locations.
Electric cars charge at Hellweg markets
Technology for charging stations now seems to be almost as scarce as battery cells for electric cars – at least recently, the head of Shell’s German petrol station business named lack of column availability as one of the reasons for the delayed implementation of its own charging plans. At the same time, it is apparently becoming increasingly tight at suitable locations. Both representatives from Tesla and Fastned have publicly appealed to property owners and operators at openings in recent months to come forward and cooperate.
However, the German utility EnBW seems to have particular skill in this location search for electric car infrastructure. In quick succession in November, he announced that he would initially be setting up 30 new fast charging stations at the toom chain’s hardware stores; more of the 330 toom branches are to be added later. Then followed the announcement that all 150 locations of the real estate company Deutsche Konsum, on which supermarkets and hardware stores from Rewe or Obi are located, would be equipped with fast pillars. And again just a few days later, EnBW announced that an additional 80 DIY megastores with garden centers in the Hellweg chain are to become locations for high-performance electric car charging.
The text leaves open how the “up to” in the press release is to be understood. Hellweg operates 97 of its own stores in Germany and Austria and 53 under the BayWa brand in southern Germany. Ten German of them should be equipped with charging stations by the end of the year.
EnBW with many more locations than Tesla
Even before the wave of announcements in November, EnBW said it was the operator of the largest network for fast electric car charging in Germany with 450 locations. Tesla is also continuously expanding its supercharger network, but so far only has around 80 active German stations. The new agreement with Hellweg alone could bring as many new locations to the EnBW network as Tesla has set up in recent years – but there are almost always significantly more individual charging points at Supercharger stations than at others.
In any case, EnBW has now confirmed the goal of reaching 1,000 fast locations with 3,000 charging points in Germany by 2021. It looks like the development of a comprehensive infrastructure is making good progress without the state control center with purely private initiatives from EnBW, Tesla and others – but electric car drivers and interested parties should welcome both.