The European Commission has approved Germany's scheme to roll out a network of user-friendly infrastructure for charging electric vehicles across the country.
The EC decided that the project addresses a real gap in the market without unduly affecting competition in the Single Market. It will cost 300 million euros over four years and will promote the installation of new standard and high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles, as well as the extension of the existing infrastructure.
The scheme is open to all, including companies, individuals and local authorities, and support will be awarded progressively through an open and transparent tender procedure. It requires that the electricity for the charging infrastructure comes from renewable energy sources.
“Electric vehicles can provide real benefits to society by reducing harmful emissions and noise pollution” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is the Commissioner in charge of competition policy. “The German support scheme will encourage consumers and businesses to use electric vehicles. It will provide the necessary infrastructure in a cost-effective way in line with EU state aid rules”.
The Commission believes that the measure will encourage a significant uptake of electric vehicles, thereby making a major contribution towards meeting the common interest of reducing emissions and improving air quality. It will also support the European Strategy for low-emission mobility, in particular in terms of the objective of speeding up the deployment of low-emission alternative energy for transport and contributing to the decarbonisation agenda.
This support measure is expected to stimulate investment in a market that still requires incentives before it can function on its own. The Commission expects that the financial support for the construction of charging infrastructure will create the conditions for its further expansion without any further support in the future. It will also encourage the use of electric vehicles on German and European roads.
The Commission concluded that the measure is in line with EU state aid rules (Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), which allow aid to facilitate the development of economic activities in the common interest under certain conditions.