What is the current level of demand placed on the existing charging stations?
Hofmeister: It is important to say first of all that the roll-out of electromobility infrastructure for long-distance journeys was carried out very quickly. Germany was not any slower than other countries in this respect. However, the infrastructure is far from being used to full capacity because the number of e-cars is still too low. The car industry now needs to do its homework and launch long-range e-cars on the market at reasonable prices.
Regerbis: However, the situation could change very quickly, especially as the car industry is currently under pressure and has announced huge investment. To ensure that we can respond flexibly when it comes to charging infrastructure, we have designed our charging stations so that they can be quickly scaled up. This applies to both the number of charging points and also the charging capacity.
Assuming that there is an increase in demand – what are the biggest hurdles to the further expansion of the infrastructure in Germany?
Regerbis: If I could ask for anything, it would be the quicker realisation of the grid connections. Yet there is also a bottleneck in terms of construction. The service providers in the area of underground construction are fully booked months in advance.
Hofmeister: Another important issue is the availability of the required hardware, by which I mean quick-charging points with a capacity of 150 kilowatts and more.
If we look into the future, can you imagine other areas of cooperation between EnBW and Tank & Rast beyond that of charging stations – especially with respect to the increasing level of digitalisation?
Hofmeister: Definitely. I only have to think about things like automated driving or shared and connected mobility and I can see many common themes where closer cooperation would be beneficial.
Regerbis: Our cooperation is geared towards the long term and characterised by reliability, commitment and trust. The ideal requirements, in our opinion, for being able to offer our customers real added value both now and in the future.