Munich, July 27, 2023 – The rapid growth of electromobility, a cornerstone of the German government’s climate protection strategy for the coming years, is at risk of faltering due to the sluggish expansion of fast-charging infrastructure in cities and metropolitan areas. In response, JOLT Energy GmbH (JOLT), a pioneer in operating ultra-fast charging stations in urban areas, is calling for an immediate program to accelerate the development of inner-city fast-charging infrastructure.
“Without the ability to charge quickly and reach their destinations unhindered, potential electric vehicle buyers hesitate,” says Maurice Neligan, CEO of JOLT. The demand for ultrafast charging is immense, as evidenced by usage data from JOLT stations in many major German cities. Additionally, according to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), the gap between the number of electric vehicles and the number of charging stations is continuously widening.
However, several obstacles are needlessly impeding the crucial expansion of fast-charging infrastructure in public spaces for climate protection reasons: complicated allocation practices for public sites, excessively long timelines for commissioning power connections, insufficient commitment from municipalities, and substantial knowledge gaps concerning this new technology. “Municipalities, utilities, and network operators must now take action to prevent the derailment of the electromobility upswing,” says Neligan. JOLT’s municipal fastcharging offensive encompasses three key points:
1. New rules for allocation procedures:
Instead of lengthy and often legally uncertain area-wide tenders, JOLT calls for the periodic allocation of smaller location quotas in public spaces. A similar approach is already being applied to wind and solar power plants. Such measures foster rapid private sector solutions and break the prevailing monopolistic position of utilities and municipal companies.
2. Mandatory three-month deadline for power connections:
Completed fast-charging stations often remain inactive due to excessively long periods until power connections are approved. “We sometimes wait up to twelve months for power connections, which cannot be the widely cited German speed,” says Maurice Neligan. JOLT is urging municipalities, primarily their local network operators and utilities, to exert more pressure. Each request for a power connection to the charging infrastructure should be completed within a maximum of three months after application.
3. Closer cooperation between municipalities, utilities, and charging network operators:
To eliminate local obstacles and provide their citizens with a secure and reliable fast-charging network at highly frequented inner-city locations, JOLT suggests initiating round-table discussions involving utilities, other relevant municipal companies, and charging network operators (CPOs). Within this framework, the prevailing information deficit – another obstacle to fast-charging network expansion – could be addressed. Because the significant differences in charging speeds between alternating current, direct current, and high-power charging (AC, DC, and HPC charging) are often unknown to both political decision-makers and the public (see graphic in the appendix).
At JOLT charging stations, electric vehicle drivers can charge up to 100 km of range within five minutes, thanks to the high charging power of 320 kW. JOLT’s charging points combine a charging station with a battery storage system, making the modern HPC charging technology compatible with readily available low-voltage power connections. As charging speeds significantly increase, the size of the vehicle battery and the sheer number of chargers will become less critical factors. “Nobody wants to hang around for hours at one of the thousands of AC chargers in Germany. People want to recharge a few hundred kilometers of range within minutes and continue their journey,” asserts Neligan, a long-time electric vehicle enthusiast. Therefore, he insists, “Charging must be as easy and fast as refueling.”
About JOLT Energy
JOLT Energy, a Dublin and Munich-based Charge Point Operator (CPO) established in 2018, offers ultra-fast charging to drivers in Europe and North America’s cities. JOLT’s charging infrastructure can charge vehicles up to 200 km in just 10 minutes, thanks to its up to 320 kW output capacity. The company’s core expertise lies in developing, financing, and operating charging infrastructure at the energy production and distribution interface. JOLT partners with various businesses like service stations or supermarkets to bring ultra-fast charging downtown. Its charging stations feature integrated battery storage, enabling them to connect to the standard low voltage grid without the need for extensive grid extensions. JOLT’s charging network serves as an intelligent energy storage system that can balance the supply and demand of electricity from renewable sources in realtime, stabilizing the grid and create additional revenue streams. The company´s approach not only meets the demand for ultra-fast charging by its customers and partners but also supports the global energy and mobility transition towards a sustainable all-electric transportation system.