Autobahn GmbH, the German federal agency that plans, finances, builds, maintains, and manages the network of highways in the country, has finalized a tender for 1,000 new fast charging points at 200 so-called ‘unmanaged’ rest areas. These will have to be upgraded to the grid to support high-power charge points (HPC) first, as most today even don’t have any lighting.
Three individual operators, Dutch Fastned, German multinational electric utility company E.ON, French TotalEnergies, and the German seven-member consortium Autostrom, got the six nationwide lots foreseen in the second ‘Deutschlandnetz’ tender, each containing 32 to 34 locations. They have to be operational by 2026.
400 kWh chargers
For Fastned, which won one of the six lots, the 34 new locations are mainly in northern Germany. It will install fast charging stations with 400 kW chargers, where charging takes just 15 minutes for a range of up to 300 kilometers, depending on the vehicle type. Each site can have 4, 6, or 8 fast-charging points.
Fastned is already active in Germany, where it won two lots or a total of 92 new locations of the first part of the ‘Deutschlandnetz’ tender in September 2023, the so-called regional lots. The fast charging station in Düren that Fastned opened in December 2023 is still the only station of that initial tender any contender has opened to date.
Lack of restaurants and shops
Fastned sees the new locations as a huge gain, both for them and for expanding the fast-charging infrastructure in Germany. But the lack of permits to build restaurants and shops is a thorn in its flesh.
“So far, there are no plans to build restaurants and shops at the rest areas or upgrade the sanitary facilities, making the sites much more attractive. In our opinion, real competition can only be created with a comprehensive and contemporary range of services at the charging station,” says Linda Boll, Country Manager of Fastned Germany.
“We hope to enter into dialogue with Autobahn GmbH and the Federal Ministry in this regard and ultimately be able to offer our customers the best possible charging experience.”
How the other lots were divided between the other three partners isn’t clear yet. TotalEnergies and E.ON were winners in the ‘regional’ tender in September 2023, one of the most significant tenders in Europe. TotalEnergie got 134 locations for 1,100 high-power charge points for electrical vehicles up to 200 kW. In that tender, TotalEnergies and E.ON both got three lots each.