Over the past five years, the United States has developed a rather extensive electric vehicle charging infrastructure that includes tens of thousands of public and private charging stations, many for little or no cost. But not every country has been as proactive as the US in creating a viable charging network, with nations like Germany woefully far behind the curve.
Native automaker Volkswagen wants to change that with the installation of some 12,000 EV charging stations at the company’s facilities across the Fatherland, reports Green Car Congress. This investment means that some 10% of Volkswagen’s 120,000 corporate parking spots will offer employees the chance to plug in. While 12,000 charging points may not seem all that impressive, across the entirety of Germany there are a mere 4,800 publicly-accessible Level 2 charging stations, and just 100 DC fast-charging stations.
That’s a paltry number for a nation that has an estimated 43 million registered vehicles on its roads (of which about 20% wear a Volkswagen badge). Plug-in car sales remain low as a result, leaving it up to automakers themselves to support buyers and build the necessary infrastructure. Here in the US, Volkswagen has partnered with ChargePoint to build a more extensive charging network, but it looks like in Germany the automaker is going it alone.
Volkswagen has been rather gung-ho on electric vehicles ever since the launch of the e-Golf, and there are dozens more plug-in Vdubs on the way. But while countries like the US and even China are investing heavily into promoting plug-in cars and offering ample places to plug in, Germany has been slow to offer the same kinds of financial and convenience incentives. If Volkswagen wants plug-in cars to make up a big part of German sales, it may have to build a charging network from the inside-out to make up for the lack of government support.