According to the German business newspaper Automobilwoche, Deutsche Telekom has confirmed that they will be transforming 12,000 distribution boxes into electric vehicle chargers, more than doubling the nations existing stock of chargers.
The German telecommunications provider will begin in the summer with chargers to be operational by 2020. They will include 500 fast chargers (100kW), which can typically provide an 80% battery charge in just 40 minutes. The rest will be level 2 chargers that are capable of a charge rate of 22kW.
Traditionally, EV chargers have been installed at petrol stations or in dedicated clusters of roadside charging points. However, this announcement by Telekom supports a more recent trend of retrofitting existing roadside infrastructure to provide EV charging capabilities. This is important in urban areas where space is limited and EV users often rely on public roadside chargers rather than private chargers. Across central London, charge points are being installed in lamp posts and in Finland, they are converting block heaters to offer EV charging.
In 2016, disappointing EV sales forced Chancellor Angela Merkel to revise a target of putting one million electric vehicles on German roads by 2020. But new rebates and subsidies for electric cars and associated infrastructure have seen sales respond, and Bloomberg reported in February that Germany will surpass Norway this year to become the world's 3rd biggest electric car market. Telekom's impressive announcement should see the country suitably equipped to support and encourage further EV adoption.
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Story originally published in Automobilwoche on 03 March 2018