Germany Plans to Convert 12,000 Distribution Substations for Electric Car Charging

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Old infrastructure gets a new lease on life. And Germany more than doubles its vehicle charging capacity.

We've already seen street lamps being converted for electric car charging; now it seems German telecommunications giant Telekom is setting its sights on distribution substations, of which it plans to convert a whopping 12,000 to enable electric vehicle charging.

(BTW, dear reader: I'm translating from the German 'Verteilerkästen', which appears to translate to cabinet-style distribution substations—but feel free to correct me if my German, or my understanding of electricity grid fundamentals, is wrong!)

The original report appears behind a paywall, and in German, over at the industry publication Automobilwoche, but according to Electrek the initiative could be complete as early as 2020, and would single-handedly mark a doubling of public electric vehicle charging stations in Germany. (The current tally stands at 10,800.)

Perhaps most importantly, this is one more reminder that installing vehicle charging infrastructure is not like installing an entirely new fuel distribution system. Electricity is already everywhere. And most of us can charge at regular rates, overnight, at home most of the time. Heck, even a regular wall socket is useful if you've got long enough to wait.

I suspect we'll see many, many more examples of creative reuse of already electrified infrastructure. Watch this space.