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Impacts from Tesla's Gigafactory on German Utilities

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Germany has made huge strides in the deployment of renewable energy assets and Germans have also paid staggering sums on the whole for the country's Energiewende transition.  Areas like solar have grown to provide 35% of the country's electricity in 2019, up from just 7% in 2000. But increasing energy efficient generation will likely still be expensive with Der Spiegel citing a recent estimate that it would cost Germany 3.4 trillion Euros or "seven times more than it spent form 2000 to 2025 to increase solar and wind three to five-fold by 2050.  On the electric vehicle front, Germany has also made gains. EV usage fits well in a country synonymous with automotive excellence and efficiency targets that include cutting carbon dioxide emissions by half by 2030. Germany has also introduced measures to accelerate the electrification of transportation with subsidies of up to 4,400 Euros for the cost of electric vehicles. 

With Tesla's recent announcement to build their first Gigafactory in the German state of Brandenburg, and an engineering design center in Berlin, it has politicians fired up about how it will drive more EV adopotion in Germany and likely spur the BMWs, Mercedes-Benz's and other local powerhouses to accelerate their EV efforts. This will have a spillover effect on utilities and charging station vendors. The country currently has about 21,000 charging points and that will continue to increase. But will Tesla growing impact on Germany also spur more charging pilot and R&D from utilities on how and when vehicles should ideally be charged? Will more R&D programs be launched for fleet charging programs? 

With Germany having spent billions of Euros on renewable energy development, the country is well positioned to focus EV charging during the times when solar and wind are most plentiful or when stored energy can be deployed without the need for firing up fossil fuel plants. Let us know if you have experience with managed charging initiatives in Germany. 

Areg Bagdasarian's picture

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Gerard Reid's picture
Gerard Reid on Nov 15, 2019 8:56 am GMT

The real question is whether the German economy will survive the switch from ICEs to EVs?

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 15, 2019 1:16 pm GMT

Do you think the German automakers are too slow in their attempts to create EVs? I know they're putting out some models and they're obviously behind the Teslas of the world, but do you see them digging in their heels with ICEs and suffering for it?

Gerard Reid's picture
Gerard Reid on Nov 18, 2019 2:56 pm GMT

Slow is an understatement....that said VW is the bright light!

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 18, 2019 5:09 pm GMT

I hesitate calling VW a bright light completely just because of the emissions cheating scandal that ended up forcing a lot of their funds to be going towards EVs and EV infrastructure. Do you think they'd be just as far along if that whole situation didn't go down?

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