VW, Mercedes-Benz urge Berlin to accelerate EV charging network expansion, report says

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BERLIN : German carmakers Mercedes-Benz and VW have urged the government to do more to scale up the number of electric vehicle charging stations across the country, German paper Bild am Sonntag wrote on Sunday.

“To speed up the change (to electric vehicles), we need to be sure that the charging station infrastructure is being built up,” Mercedes-Benz Chief Executive Ola Kallenius was quoted as saying by the paper. “That’s also a question for politics.”

VW Chief Executive Oliver Blume agreed more speed was needed and that the construction of charging stations was “a common task of the economy, federal government and communes”.

The German government last October approved a plan to spend 6.3 billion euros ($6.74 billion) to rapidly scale up the number of charging stations across the country, as part of its push towards net zero emissions. The plan includes speeding up state approvals to build charging points.

Industry associations, which have long complained the government has not kept pace with the rapid expansion of electric vehicles, said the implementation of the proposals was key.

“The future of the car is electric,” Kallenius was quoted as saying. “By the end of this decade, we want to be ready to completely transition to electric cars in our market segment, wherever market conditions allow it,” he said.

“It’s not a foregone conclusion, rather it will require a gigantic industrial conversion.”

($1 = 0.9351 euros)

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