Paying at public charging stations will be standardized
Photo: Emanuel M Schwermer / Getty Images
It is a prerequisite for the expansion of electromobility: charging must be simple and straightforward.
But those who charge the batteries not only at home, but also at public charging stations, for example at rest stops or in front of supermarkets, often need a bundle of different customer cards and apps for different providers.
To make things easier, on Friday the Federal Council gave its blessing to the amendment to the charging station ordinance previously approved by the government.
In the future, all providers will be obliged to accept common EC and credit cards everywhere.
However, the new regulation will only come into force in just under two years, in July 2023.
There is currently no uniform system for paying at the more than 46,000 public charging stations.
Hundreds of operators each have their own contract models and tariffs.
Customer cards and apps only work at certain pillars, sometimes a basic fee is paid, sometimes only for each charging process.
The outcome of the vote in the Federal Council was open, because opinions on the idea of the government differ widely.
After the decision, criticism comes from the automotive and energy industries.
"It is disappointing that the Federal Council today decided in favor of technologies without a future," said Hildegard Müller, head of the VDA automotive association.
The banks are happy, the operators are annoyed
EC card terminals are out of date, they cause additional costs for users and slow down the pace of innovation, say the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management and the Central Association of the Electrical and Electronics Industry.
The companies not only shy away from the additional costs for installation.
They also prefer to use their own loyalty cards to retain customers.
Digital solutions, such as apps or mobile providers such as PayPal, are modern.
»In 2030 no one needs EC card terminals as an expensive back-up payment option.
They are then an anachronism, like telephone booths today as a back-up for smartphone users, «declared the associations.
However, digital payment methods are only slowly gaining acceptance in Germany.
Customers wanted to be able to pay for electricity conveniently with the card, just like the gasoline bill at the gas station today, argues the financial sector.
"In the interests of consumers, Europe's legislators must also make it possible to pay with credit and giro cards at the e-charging stations," said Karl-Peter Schackmann-Fallis from the Savings Banks and Giro Association (DSGV).
Cities and municipalities as well as the ADAC car club see it that way.
On average, every e-car driver now has three charging cards from different providers and has to register in apps and on websites with sensitive payment data - and yet he cannot simply drive to the nearest charging station, but has to look for the one of his contractual partner.
That scares users off and slows down electromobility.
fww / dpa / rtr