(Reuters) – Germany said it will oblige all petrol stations to offer electric car charging to help remove refuelling concerns and boost consumer demand for the vehicles as part of its 130 billion euro ($146 billion) economic recovery plan.
The move could provide a significant boost to electric vehicle demand along with the broader stimulus plan which included taxes to penalize ownership of large polluting combustion-engined sports utility vehicles and a 6,000 euro subsidy towards the cost of an electric vehicle.
Germany’s announcement follows a French plan to boost electric car sales announced last week by President Macron.
“It’s a very clear commitment to battery-powered vehicles and establishes electric mobility as a technology of the future,” energy storage specialist The Mobility House, whose investors include Daimler and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, said.
“Internationally this puts Germany in the leading group of battery electric vehicle support.”
As part of the government stimulus, 2.5 billion euros will be spent on battery cell production and charging infrastructure, a field where oil majors, utilities and carmakers, including Shell, Engie and Tesla are vying for dominance.
Customer demand for electric cars has been constrained by concerns about the limited operating range of vehicles. In Germany, electric cars made up only 1.8% of new passenger car registrations last year, with diesel and petrol cars accounting for 32% and 59.2% respectively.
Of the 168,148 new registrations in May, only 5,578 or 3.3% were electric cars according to German vehicle agency KBA.