Germany to launch tender for 350 electric truck charging locations

The German Federal Ministry of Transport has confirmed it will launch a nationwide tender for an electric truck charging network this summer. Specifically, 350 charging locations will be available—220 at managed and 130 at unmanaged motorway service areas.

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Image: Mercedes-Benz Trucks

The 350 charge parks will cover the expected demand for truck charging infrastructure along the motorway in 2030. According to a German news report, just under a third of these locations will be at unmanaged motorway service areas and the majority at managed ones. The information is based on documents from the federal agency NOW GmbH. Within NOW GmbH, the National Charging Infrastructure Control Centre is responsible for the federal government’s tenders for charging infrastructure. The most prominent example is the tenders for the German network for passenger cars (Deutschlandnetz).

According to the German news agency dpa, the Federal Ministry of Transport has now confirmed the information from the article. It says the tenders for the fast-charging network for electric trucks are currently being prepared and expected to be published this summer. 2.1 billion euros have been earmarked for the first round of tenders and the financing of network connections. According to The Pioneer, Autobahn GmbH will place the grid connection orders shortly, independently of the tender.

Around a third of the lorry charging parks at the 130 unmanaged rest areas will be part of the Deutschlandnetz. The Pioneer also describes the award procedure as follows: “For the electric truck network, there will be a negotiated procedure with a competitive tendering process, as was already the case for the Germany network […]. Only companies that qualify will receive a draft contract and can then negotiate the conditions with the federal government. After that, there will be a standardised draft contract for all companies that apply. The bids with the best prices receive the contract from the federal government.”

Tank & Rast service stations will not be included in the first round of tenders. They account for over 90 per cent of managed rest areas in Germany. The reason for this is the ongoing lawsuit filed by Tesla and Fastned against Autobahn GmbH, which has already delayed the expansion of HPC chargers for cars and trucks at motorway service areas for around two years. It will likely be another year or so before a verdict is reached. Due to the legal uncertainty, the roll-out at Tank & Rast has come to a complete standstill since this spring.

However, according to The Pioneer, the federal government is currently building the grid connections required for fast-charging stations at its own expense: “Grid connections have already been ordered for 46 motorway service areas, and contact has been made with the grid operator for over 100 locations, and an offer has been requested.”

The development of the initial public truck charging network is not voluntary but is enforced by EU regulations. For example, Germany must set up at least 32 public electric truck charging points by 2025, 104 by 2027, and at least 314 by 2030. The associated charging capacity for lorries will increase from around 66 megawatts in 2025 to 918 megawatts in 2030. EU regulation also stipulates that fast-charging infrastructure for electric trucks must be available every 60 to 100 kilometres along the main German motorways.

Meanwhile, research results of the “HoLa” project, which is central to public truck charging in Germany, point to a much higher demand: “An initial public fast-charging network with at least 1,000 MCS charging points will be established by 2030. With rapid market penetration of electric trucks in long-distance transport and longer idle times of 45 minutes, 2,000 MCS charging points are more likely to be needed by 2030,” project managers announced in March. (both in German)


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