EWI Index: Germany has some catching up to do when it comes to e-mobility

EWI Index: Germany has some catching up to do when it comes to e-mobility
March 1, 2024 |

Scandinavian countries lead the way in the updated “EWI EV Preparedness Index” published by the Institute of Energy Economics. Germany still has some catching up to do, particularly in terms of charging flexibility.

Scandinavian countries are particularly advanced in their preparations for electromobility. Central European countries such as France and Austria have caught up in comparison. Germany fell three places to 20th place. This was partly due to the energy crisis in 2022 and the resulting change in the energy mix.

This is shown by the “EWI EV Preparedness Index 2022” (Electric Vehicle, EV), which was surveyed for the second time. On a scale of one to ten, the index measures how well prepared 27 European countries are for the increasing number of electric vehicles. Three dimensions were analyzed for the index: available (green) power generation, charging and grid infrastructure and conditions for flexible charging.

Large differences between the individual countries

“The EWI EV Preparedness Index shows that most European countries already have an adequate charging infrastructure for electric mobility. This is one of the prerequisites for a successful market ramp-up of electric vehicles,” says Dr. Philip Schnaars, Head of Research Area at the EWI, who compiled the index together with Martin Lange and Antonie Reinecke.

Scandinavian countries achieve particularly high scores in the index. Norway, for example, has an index value of 9.4 out of 10 achievable points. In these three countries, renewable energies with a focus on wind and hydropower contribute a great deal to the electricity mix. They also have an efficient grid and charging infrastructure. Many smart meters have been installed in Northern Europe, for example, which enable charging processes to be made more flexible through data exchange. They also have a high proportion of time-variable price components and can therefore provide economic incentives for flexible charging.

Germany needs to catch up

Germany ranks in the lower midfield in the overall index with 5.4 points and has not improved in the index compared to the previous year. Possible reasons for this are the slow progress of the smart meter rollout and the changed energy mix in the wake of the energy crisis. In addition, secured generation capacity has fallen compared to the previous year. Controllable capacities are crucial for the ramp-up of electromobility, as they help to balance out peak loads caused by the uncontrolled charging of e-vehicles.

France and Austria have risen in the country rankings of the “EWI EV Preparedness Index” compared to the previous year. Both countries have improved their prerequisites for flexible charging. Austria, for example, has installed more smart metering systems. The proportion of households with such systems has more than doubled compared to 2020.

Figure: EWI EV Preparedness Index 2022

Effects of the energy crisis in the three dimensions of the “EWI EV Preparedness Index”

The European energy crisis in 2022 affected the calculated index values to varying degrees. In the electricity mix dimension, the index shows that Germany has converted more coal into electricity in order to reduce gas consumption. This has increased the CO2 footprint of electromobility. The potential for flexible charging signals, on the other hand, has increased due to higher electricity procurement prices and regulatory measures such as tax cuts. As a result, the index value in the charging flexibility dimension has increased in many of the countries considered.

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