Charging Infrastructure in Europe

Market Trends

Last year, electromobility made its final breakthrough. The number of newly registered e-cars rose rapidly worldwide, and in Germany the number of new registrations per month now even exceeds that of internal combustion vehicles. Many major car manufacturers such as Volvo, Volkswagen and BMW have announced that they will massively expand their investments in lithium batteries and electrically powered vehicles. The development of charging systems also reflects this upward trend. The number of manufacturers and suppliers has grown significantly, and the variety of products on the market is steadily increasing. This is also reflected in the current version of the Market Overview Charging Systems: With over 250 products from 84 original manufacturers, you will find more than twice as many as in the last edition from May 2021.

Customers benefit from this: An even wider range of products means falling costs and more diverse application options. Public charging points will gain strongly in importance. However, most charging processes will remain in the private sector, at home or on company premises. But retailers and supermarket chains are also being called upon to build charging infrastructure in their large parking lots. According to the German National Control Center for Charging Infrastructure the share will continue to predominate in the next ten years, at around 80 percent. However, for supply security in particular, it is important for the respective country to provide basic nationwide supply in addition to these offers, especially with fast charging stations in public areas and on roads. Those who also want to benefit from the attractive subsidies must pay attention to forward-looking criteria such as the controllability of the charging solutions and the use of electricity from renewable energy.

In the meantime, the installation of a wallbox for private photovoltaic systems is almost standard, as is an electricity storage system. The new federal subsidy in Germany supports the switch to e-cars in order to optimize the self-consumption of solar power. This trend will also soon become noticeable for commercial solar systems, especially since some German states have already launched special subsidy programs for commercial charging stations.

In the public sector, the trend is toward DC systems (CCS, CHAdeMO), which offer very high charging capacities. They dominate especially along highways, where users expect long ranges and short charging times. 150 kilowatts or more are the norm. In addition, the number of providers of mobile high-performance systems that couple powerful electricity storage units with DC charging points is increasing, for example for temporary events.

In the long term, charging technology in the private and commercial segments will be primarily AC-based, with high-performance DC systems also playing an important role in commercial fleets. DC systems are likely to dominate in the „semi-public“ and public sectors. They allow charging time to be kept to a minimum to make effective use of charging spaces – even for short-term parkers. Vehicle2Grid technology, which Volkswagen plans to introduce as standard equipment next year, will create additional financial incentives for all operators of AC and DC charging points, as well as for e-mobilists themselves, to integrate them into the energy system.

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