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08-06-2018 | Electric Vehicles | News | Article

Banks Explore Business Opportunities with Electric Mobility

Stefanie Hüthig

Germany is discussing new vehicle powertrains. The focus is on electric mobility and the associated charging infrastructure, potentially affording financial institutions new business opportunities. How are banks positioning themselves in this case? 

The German government would like to see an additional 100,000 public charging stations for electric vehicles in one and a half years. From this and other figures, Jan Strobel, department head of Regulation, Market Communication and Mobility at the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft), concludes that the as-yet small market for electric mobility is picking up speed. The conference on Grid Integration of Electric Mobility in Berlin showed that banks are ready to support the trend towards new powertrains while benefiting from it themselves. However, there are not many practical examples. 

Initial talks with development institutions are underway

Axel Kasterich, head of Infrastructure at Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB), is sure that this issue is no longer in its early stages. He sees the business, such as leasing offers for charging stations, as a service that his bank must offer its customers as a matter of course. By contrast, collaboration with development banks in the electric mobility sector is still in its infancy. For example, the Berlin-based bank is holding initial talks with the Development Bank of Saxony. Kasterich is convinced that electric mobility must start in municipalities. 

Asmus Schütt, head of lobbying at the Genossenschaftsverband (German Federation of Cooperatives), advocates that cooperatives operate the network of charging stations. This has the advantage that users can then lay down the ground rules. He recommends first expanding the charging infrastructure at regional level with pilot projects in the commercial sector, together with the municipality and the local company, for example with parcel service providers. According to Schütt, this closely embodies the spirit of cooperatives because "cooperatives grow from the bottom up".

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