The long-contested amendment to the charging station ordinance was published on Wednesday in the Federal Gazette or Federal Law Gazette and the reform will come into force on January 1, 2022. This means that new public charging stations must be equipped with readers for debit and credit cards. Business associations, on the other hand, had run a storm.
“Charging electric vehicles is getting easier.”
According to that now legally anchored timetable providers have until mid-2023 to develop and approve charging stations that meet the new requirements. Existing charging stations do not have to be retrofitted. The acting Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) welcomed the new rules: “Charging electric vehicles is getting easier.” The extended number variants are “a further important step for the breakthrough of electromobility to succeed”.
With the amendment, the Federal Government wants to ensure that a suitable method of payment is available and that the requirements of the EU Payment Services Directive PSD2 are complied with. In the future, operators of a charging point would have to enable the authentication required for the cashless payment process directly at or in its immediate vicinity and offer at least contactless systems for holding a payment card with the ability for near field communication (NFC).
Electromobility costs are increasing
The operators could “of course continue to offer alternative payment options,” says the executive. It refers to additional “web-based systems via an app or with a QR code”. The regulations for card acceptance cost 165 million euros, the German Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) warned in advance. The installation of the devices increases the costs for electromobility overall. A similar protest came from the Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).
Despite concerns, the Federal Council approved the government draft from May in September. Several committees of the regional chamber had complained that the reading devices were only used for a small part of the loading processes. The vast majority of motorists charge up for electricity on a contract basis using RFID cards or digital apps. Ultimately, the costs would have to be borne by all customers. The expansion of the charging infrastructure could also be delayed.
Location information, occupancy status and operational readiness
The revised ordinance is generally intended to ensure that the charging infrastructure is more consumer-friendly and that drivers of e-cars can easily fill up their vehicles with electricity anywhere. After the transition period, newly built charging points must also have an interface with which location information and dynamic data such as the occupancy status and operational readiness can be transmitted. This should make it easier for customers to access free electricity tap points ad hoc.
The obligation to notify the Federal Network Agency for newly installed charging stations will exist no later than two weeks after commissioning instead of at least four weeks prior to construction as was previously the case. Normal charging points that are only equipped with a permanently attached charging cable are permitted. The legislator has also expanded the scope of the provisions to include commercial vehicles. A resolution of the “Concerted Mobility Action” from 2020 and a specification in the Federal Government’s charging infrastructure master plan from 2019 are to be implemented.