Tender for a nationwide HPC (high power charging) fast charging network for e-vehicles expected for the 4th quarter 2020

The federal government intends to supplement its existing funding policy in the development of charging infrastructure for e-vehicles. As a first step, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) intends to commission the construction and operation of a nationwide HPC fast charging network at 1,000 locations within the framework of a Europe-wide call for tenders. The HPC fast-charge network is intended to cover the demand for medium and long-distance mobility on trunk roads.

This represents a paradigm shift in the expansion of HPC charging infrastructure – away from funding and towards tendering. The problem: the existing funding programmes for the development of a charging infrastructure for e-vehicles are not suitable on their own to ensure that the infrastructure is established quickly, reliably, in line with demand, across the board and in a consumer-friendly manner. In spite of funding requirements and minimum standards of the charging station ordinance, customers are confronted with isolated solutions, high unreliability, inconsistent information and numerous different user interfaces. And there are clearly far too few high-performance fast charging points. Less than 2 percent of all charging points have a charging capacity of at least 100 kW.

The objective is therefore to create an efficient and non-discriminatory accessible backbone for electric mobility with uniform specifications to ensure user-friendliness. The German Centre for Charging Infrastructure at NOW GmbH plays a central role in the implementation of this initiative. Together with the BMVI, it is preparing the planned call for tenders and will also support and coordinate the expansion plans of the federal states and municipalities. The long-term goal is to take all users’ charging needs into account and to interlink all the types of charging infrastructure required in a user-friendly manner. This then also takes into account the charging infrastructure in municipalities for regular short-distance mobility and at private parking spaces.

Tender preparation
The BMVI and the German Centre for Charging Infrastructure are preparing the tender. Besides the conception, market exploratory talks will be held in order to correctly assess the concerns, needs and capabilities of the market participants directly or indirectly addressed by the tender. Subject to the necessary coordination with all relevant authorities, the Europe-wide call for tender is then expected to begin in the 4th quarter of 2020. The duration of the tendering process is expected to be no less than eight months.