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German gas stations will have to provide electric car charging under new rules

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The subsidy for electric vehicles is also increasing

An electric car charges in Germany
An electric car charges in Germany.
Photo by Janine Schmitz/Photothek via Getty Images

Gas stations in Germany will be required to provide charging for electric vehicles as part of the country’s €130 billion coronavirus stimulus package, Reuters reports. In addition, the government is also increasing its subsidy for electric vehicles by €3,000 to €6,000 for cars costing less than €40,000. Combined, these measures could be a big boost for electric car adoption in a country where many of the world’s biggest automakers are headquartered.

Electric vehicles are currently relatively uncommon in the country. According to Reuters, less than 2 percent of the cars sold in Germany last year were electric, compared to 32 percent for diesel cars and 59.2 percent for petrol. A key limiting factor for adoption is range anxiety, with customers worried that they won’t be able to recharge if their vehicle runs out of power while on the road. The new law is an attempt to change this.

Despite the increase, research suggests Germany may need yet more chargers for electric cars to go fully mainstream. Reuters notes that the country has 14,118 gas stations, but one report suggests it will need around 70,000 charging stations and 7,000 fast chargers to achieve mass market adoption. The country had 27,730 electric car charging stations as of March 2020.

Still, it’s a positive step for a country where automotive giants such as VW, BMW, and Daimler have their headquarters. Many of these established automakers are now heavily investing in electric vehicles after the Dieselgate scandal seriously undermined their green credentials. Electric car manufacturer Tesla is also in the process of establishing its first European Gigafactory in the country at a site near Berlin.

Germany isn’t the only country to announce measures to increase the adoption of electric vehicles this week. Yesterday, France announced a subsidy of up to €12,000 when they buy an electric car, Time reports.