Before the decisive vote in the Federal Council, the banking industry insists on open Payment systems at public charging stationsat public charging stations for electric cars. “In the interests of consumers, you have to be able to pay at every charging station with the card you have in your wallet,” said Karl-Peter Schackmann-Fallis, executive board member of the German Savings Banks and Giro Association (DSGV) of the Germans Press agency. “Electromobility will only be accepted if paying is as simple as at the bakery next door or when refueling.” This year, the DSGV is the lead manager of the five large banking associations that are part of the German banking industry.
The federal government passed a revised charging column ordinance in mid-May. Accordingly, operators of publicly accessible charging points must offer contactless payment with at least one common debit or credit card. This should apply to all new charging stations that go into operation from July 1, 2023. However, the countries were at odds and postponed the decision. Now the topic is on the agenda of the Federal Council again on September 17th.
Contactless payment is possible with girocards and credit cards that have an appropriate chip. In addition, money can be transferred contactless with a smartphone or a smartwatch with services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay or banking apps.
“Additional brake block created”?
It is currently comparatively complicated to charge an electric car while on the move in Germany: There are more than 46,000 public charging stations (as of August 1), but also hundreds of operators, charging cards, contract models and tariffs. Car companies are trying different approaches to make everyday life easier for buyers of their e-cars – and to retain them.
The new charging station ordinance had even sparked controversy in the federal government. Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer documented his criticism in the cabinet with an unusual protocol declaration: “This is a regulation from yesterday,” said the CSU politician later. In his own words, he fears that the regulations will slow down the development of the charging station network.
Scheuer is thus behind the auto industry and the energy industry, which provides many of the pillars. The energy industry association BDEW criticized in May that the obligation to install reading devices “creates an additional brake block”. The car association VDA argues that it is enough to use contracts, apps or digital payment systems.
“Consumers want freedom of choice”
Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said with a view to state subsidies that it was about non-discriminatory customer access to all charging stations and uncomplicated payment. Proponents of the new rules – in addition to the financial sector, the ADAC car club as well as cities, municipalities and districts – see completely different hurdles than chafing when expanding the charging network. A “payment chaos” at the pillars is slowing down e-mobility. “On average, every e-car driver today has three charging cards from different providers, has to register beforehand in apps and on websites with highly sensitive payment data and deal with a wide variety of contracts,” it says in a joint opinion.
“Consumers want freedom of choice when paying at e-charging stations,” says Ingo Limburg, Chairman of the Board of the German Payment Systems Initiative My contract partner? Or you are standing at the gas pump, you cannot see the price transparently and you will only receive the bill for the tank filling in a month. “Customers from abroad who drive their e-car through Germany simply wanted to fill up and pay can.
Schackmann-Fallis from the DSGV says he sees no arguments in favor of the closed systems. “The card terminals are inexpensive, there are no legal restrictions.” Contactless payment received a significant boost in the Corona crisis Accustomed to contactless payment, use the Girocard even for small amounts. It would be absurd if not every charging column had this option, “says Schackmann-Fallis. (dpa-AFX / gem)
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