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German eco-friendly cars scheme gets EU approval

Published 14 February 2017

The European Commission has approved German plans for an infrastructure network for charging electric vehicles throughout the country.

The German government plans to invest €300m over four years to the increase access to high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles.

European Commission Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the rules are in line with market guidelines for state assistance.

The installation will include standard as well as high-speed charging stations and shall also expand existing infrastructure.

Such a support for the scheme can stimulate investment in market which still requires incentives before it can function on its own. As per the commission, giving financial support now can create conditions for further expansion without any support.

According to European Commission, the scheme is open for all including companies, individuals and local authorities and the bidding process shall take place transparent tender procedure. There is also a requirement that the electricity for charging EVs shall come from renewable sources.

As per estimation, the scheme can significantly encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Germany and can help in meeting targets of reducing emissions and improving air quality.

The measure can also support European Strategy for low-emission mobility, which was announced in last July.

The strategy included several elements such as increasing efficiency of transport system, speeding up development of low-emission, zero-emission and alternative energy for transport and encouraging cities and local authorities to give out incentives for encouraging the take-up of low-emission vehicles.

Vestager said: "Electric vehicles can provide real benefits to society by reducing harmful emissions and noise pollution.

“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."

Image: EU extends support to Germany’s plans to install EV charging infrastructure. Photo: Courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.