Germany Changes Housing Law To Propt Electric Cars Development
Owners and tenants of apartment buildings in Germany have the right to install devices for charging electric vehicles at their own expense, while other owners and landlords will not be able to prevent this. This is one of the key provisions of the bill approved by the German government on March 23. The same meeting discussed the largest anti-crisis program in the history of Germany, so this news went almost unnoticed. In normal times, however, it would surely have attracted increased attention.
The decision is « an important contribution to supporting electric mobility, » reads the bill, which has yet to be approved by Parliament. And the transition to electric cars is the main direction of development of the German automotive industry, one of the key sectors of the country’s economy.
However, this transition has been going so far in Germany more slowly than carmakers had hoped for (we will ignore the current emergency situation with the COViD-19 pandemic, which temporarily almost paralyzed the auto industry and the automobile market). One of the most important reasons for the restrained demand for electric cars is the underdeveloped infrastructure for recharging them.
It will not be possible to radically solve this problem by installing more new charging stations in public places and along the autobahns, as statistics show: in about 80 percent of cases, private owners of electric vehicles charge them either at home or at work.
The Ministry of Justice of Germany also decided to amend the current law on residential real estate, « adapting it to the needs of the 21st century », especially since it was adopted in 1951. The amendments introduced now not only give the green light to the installation of chargers for electric vehicles, but also facilitate the decision-making on construction changes in order to increase the energy efficiency of buildings, improve conditions for people with disabilities and take measures to prevent apartment thefts. In addition, from now on, each owner will have a legitimate reason to demand connection to a fiber optic cable, which should give an impetus to further digitalization of the country.
Automotive industry representatives welcomed the government’s decision to amend housing legislation. “Despite the historical challenge posed by the coronavirus, we do not lose sight of our goal: to help break through electric mobility. Moreover, individual charging infrastructure is crucial,” said Reinhard Zirpel, president of the Union of International Automobile Manufacturers.
The energy sector is also satisfied with the decision. “Finally, a legal framework will be created to overcome the barriers to creating an individual charging infrastructure,” said Kerstin Andreae, Executive Director of the Federal Association of Energy and Water Supply Enterprises. She is also convinced: « The success of electric mobility will be ensured mainly by private individuals. »
It is not clear when exactly the Bundestag can vote for the bill because of the current situation with the coronavirus. But at a time when the pandemic will decline and the German economy will begin to gain momentum again, the permission to equip parking lots for residential buildings with chargers could give a tangible impetus to the demand for both electrician services and the products of car manufacturers.