BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen In Talks To Establish Nationwide Charging Network In Germany

NOV 19 2016 BY MARK KANE 13

According to a recent report, the major German automaker – Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen are considering joining together on a project to set up a nationwide network of fast charging stations in Germany alongside the autobahn in co-operation with service station operator Tank & Rast.

The rumored alliance would be major move from largest automotive groups in the country, especially given that new generation of BEVs will be designed to accept 100-150 kW from CCS Combo chargers.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ

Tank & Rast is currently engaged in the project to install 400 DC fast chargers (50 kW) by the end of 2017; this new project would then augment its charging infrastructure.

“Daimler and Volkswagen have both embarked on ambitious plans to extend their electric-car lineups in the next few years. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand has created the EQ nameplate for a series of battery-powered vehicles, with the first due by the end of the decade. VW Group has said it will introduce 30 electric cars, including Audi models, by 2025.

BMW, which currently sells the compact i3 EV and i8 plug-in hybrid supercar as part of its i subbrand, has said it also plans to add an electric Mini and BMW X3 SUV by the end of the decade.”

source: Automotive News

Categories: BMW, Charging, Daimler, Mercedes, Volkswagen

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13 Comments on "BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen In Talks To Establish Nationwide Charging Network In Germany"

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Tesla’s shadow hovers over this. Fear that the German mystique will erode away inside Germany, just as what they were able to do in America in the second half of the past century.

Good analogy.
Tesla’s long shadow casts a pall over the vaunted (inside joke) German car makers, who experience the unpleasant and unusual for them, feeling of quivering in their boots.

A pool of liquid is spreading out slowly and stains the carpet below the knocking knees of the VW representative as he signs the documents of the so called alliance.
Forced to do the right thing.

if you read the headline of the story in the “automotive news” that is referenced in the above:

“Daimler, BMW, VW said to discuss extending EV charging network with German service station operator”

you get a different sense about the nature of these talks from what is reported above. the sense i get it that “tank & rast” already has a deal with the german government to establish fast charge stations, so it sounds to me that these automakers are engaged in discussions with tank & rast to establish some degree of coordination in how these charging stations are being deployed.

i do not get the sense from the “automotive news” article that these automakers are planning their own competing charging network.

No, I don’t “get a different sense”. I note that the negotiations are being kept secret, which is normal for negotiating a contract, and that the description is worded vaguely enough that is is open to many different interpretations, of which your minimalist interpretation is only one.

One could just as easily “get a different sense” that the auto makers have committed to fully underwriting expansion of the network, and that they’re just working out the details. I doubt that’s the case, but then I doubt your interpretation, too. The highest probability is that the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes; it usually does.

since the german government is already willing to fund expansion of a charging infrastructure it makes little sense to me that private corporations would want to do the same. it does make sense, though, for private corporations to want to influence the deployment of that charging infrastructure.

by “private corporations” i mean automobile manufacturers.

I think it makes sense to try to slow down the roll out of charging infrastructure untill they have their competitive BEVs on the market.

Meanwhile they are still trying to figure out how to make money with BEVs because they are a game changer for the automotive industry.

Hmmm, looks like I may have to eat my words in predicting that no legacy auto maker will pay for, or subsidize, a widespread network of fast EV chargers, as Tesla has.

Apparently some German automakers are really feeling the competition from Tesla!

Once again, legacy auto makers are singing a chorus of “Where you lead me, I will follow…” to Tesla Motors.

Its not just because they are following Tesla, but electrification of the automotive is the next big thing in the auto industry.
Better battery tech and its affordability is a big driver IMO.

Its not Tesla, its EG 443/2009. The CO2 output of a manufacturers fleet has to be less than 95g/km by 2021 in Europe. If you want to sell powerful cars afterwards, you need to sell quite a few fuel efficient PHEVs or BEVs. If you want to sell these, there needs to be an attractive infrastructure.
Not sure if Tesla+SolarCity will still exist in 2021.

I think they see money in the paying costumers, that now buy gasoline at the stations.

Also, with enough charging stations, they can maybe get away with lower range EV’s. Which might be easier and, more importantly, cheaper to build.

The “cheaper to build” EV, that has industry wide support in charging on the National (Germany) grid, will foster more adoption and infrastructure moving forward. It will be a little more challenging for outliers like Tesla, to compete given the subsidized legacy manufacturers providing alternative charging infrastructure. It is about DC Fast Charge competition at some point, to get the first mover advantage in this rapidly growing market segment.

Another Euro point of view

Yet it is not as if Germany (and Europe in general) all of a sudden discovered that charging stations are needed. According to link below Germany has 5,872 EV charging points as of today (!).

Probably what those car makers are trying to achieve is to synchronize real fast charging deployment & agree on a technology compatible with all 3.

Having a brief look at this site I figured out that city of Amsterdam alone has 569 public EV charge points (!!!).