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Hamburg Creates Further Incentives for Switching to Electric Cars

Free parking, legal certainty when loading and numerous new charging stations in Hamburg's urban area

Hamburg paves the way to enhance the presence of environmentally-friendly drives in traffic. By launching additional incentives, the city state hope to bring even more electric vehicles on its roads. Based on new federal laws, Hamburg will issue new number plates for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids issued to grant faster access to charging stations in public spaces. In addition, the new legislations opens up new options for exemptions of fees collected by parking lots and garages. Only three days after the introduction of the new federal legislation, Hamburg has adapted its parking fees as the first German city to exempt electric cars from parking charges on municipal grounds. Effective 1 November 2015, the new arrangement will run until 2020.

More Charging Stations

According to the Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation (BWVI), the expansion of publicly accessible charging infrastructure is also progressing well, with additional sites continuously taken into operation, and existing charging stations being user-friendly upgraded. Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH as coordinator of the public charging facilities is currently talking to the city state’s various mobility providers to open up their facilities for users of electric vehicles.

Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister of Economy, Transport, and Innovation, says: “Hamburg is successfully implementing electric mobility and turns key challenges of electromobility to workable solutions.” As part of Hamburg’s smart city strategy, the port city ambitiously pursues a clean environment and the sustainability of the city.

Direct Pay System

Christian Heine, commercial director of Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH, adds: “In addition to a large number of new additional charging stations, also the payment and loading operations at the existing stations have been improved. Now more convenient to use, they are today accessible by all users of electric vehicles.” To facilitate charging, handling and paying a direct-pay system has been implemented at all public charging stations. Rising utilisation frequencies show that the new offer corresponds to the needs of drivers of electric vehicles.

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For years, Hamburg has been calling for a legally secure, nationwide standards and requirements for charging e-cars on public roads, and has underpinned by its own legislative initiatives in 2010 and 2013. In this context, the Hamburg Senate has also initiated the exemption of electric vehicles from parking fees collected by German states and municipalities, thus leaving it to the local authorities, either to generally or selectively introduce a fee waiver. In June 2015, the law on preemption of the use of electric vehicles (electromobility law – EmoG) (Federal Law Gazette I S. 898th) legally introduced, inter alia, the option of reducing or abolishing certain fees for electric vehicles.

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