Towards Net Zero 2050: Charging Infrastructure Requirements

What are the regional charging infrastructure requirements to meet Net Zero Emission targets?


Germany is setting the pace in the global shift towards electric mobility, with bold plans to boost the sale of electric vehicles and expand its network of charging infrastructure to an impressive 1 million publicly accessible charge points by 2030. To achieve this, the government is committing more than €3 billion to the development of charging infrastructure for cars and trucks by 2023. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional €500 million has been earmarked to enhance private charging facilities.

In this context, our latest report delves into the potential distribution of the electric passenger vehicle segment across Germany over the next decade, and the infrastructure required to support this growth. We've explored two scenarios, envisioning new passenger electric vehicle registrations of 35% and 50% by 2030 across 69 metropolitan and 13 nonmetropolitan areas in German states. These scenarios help us estimate the charging infrastructure needed in each area to sustain the projected growth in electric vehicles.

By comparing these estimates with the existing charging infrastructure, we've identified a 'charging gap'. This in-depth analysis takes into account regional variations in housing types, access to charging, and vehicle ownership rates. As we look to the future, understanding how to evaluate coverage and identify charging needs will be crucial for infrastructure development decisions. The insights from our report can guide planners in determining how subsidies for charging infrastructure can be distributed across Germany, ensuring a balanced and effective approach to supporting the nation's electric mobility transition.

current State of EV Charging Infrastructure

As of 2018, Germany had a substantial number of EV chargers distributed across metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. However, the distribution was not uniform, with metropolitan areas having a higher density of charging stations. This disparity was primarily due to the higher concentration of EVs in urban areas, driven by factors such as shorter travel distances, higher population density, and more robust support for green initiatives.

Projected Charging Infrastructure Needs

Looking ahead, the charging infrastructure requirements in Germany are expected to increase significantly. Two scenarios have been proposed based on the projected percentage of electric passenger car registrations in 2030.

Scenario 1: 35% Electric Car Sales by 2030

In Scenario 1, it is assumed that 35% of car sales will be electric by 2030. This scenario aligns with the target for zero- and low-emission vehicles (ZLEVs) as defined in the EU passenger car CO2 regulation. Under this scenario, the number of chargers needed by 2025 and 2030 will far exceed the number of chargers that existed in 2018.

For selected metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, the number of chargers needed by 2025 and 2030 for Scenario 1 is significantly higher than the number of chargers that existed in 2018. This underscores the need for a substantial expansion of the charging infrastructure to accommodate the projected increase in EVs.

Scenario 2: 50% Electric Car Sales by 2030

Scenario 2 is more ambitious, assuming that 50% of car sales will be electric by 2030. This scenario follows the announcements of vehicle manufacturers such as BMW, Volkswagen, and Daimler. Under this scenario, the number of chargers needed by 2025 and 2030 will be even higher than in Scenario 1, emphasizing the need for a more aggressive expansion of the charging infrastructure.

Government Targets and Study Findings

The German government has set an ambitious target to install 1 million charging points by 2030. However, studies suggest that the actual charging needs might be significantly lower, ranging from 448,000 to 565,000. This discrepancy is due to varying assumptions about the total number of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), the share of public charging, and the proportion of normal and fast charging.


The evolution of EV charging infrastructure in Germany is a dynamic process that will continue to adapt to the changing landscape of electric mobility. As the country moves towards a more sustainable future, the expansion and optimization of EV charging infrastructure will play a crucial role in facilitating the transition to electric vehicles. Whether the target is 1 million charging points or half that number, substantial investments and strategic planning will be required to meet the charging needs of the future.