Tesla’s charging stations have a problem: the entire inventory of superchargers in Germany is said to be illegal. For Tesla drivers, but also for owners of e-cars from other brands, this could be a severe blow. But what is actually behind the accusation against Tesla?
Illegal charging stations: Whoever blames Tesla overlooks the real problem
All Tesla charging stations in Germany are illegal, according to several reports. The so-called superchargers would violate applicable law, so the accusation. In short, that’s true. However, a more differentiated analysis is required, because Tesla can hardly be blamed for the fact that its charging stations are illegal.
This is mainly due to two reasons: On the one hand, Tesla is not alone. The superchargers are considered illegal because the charging stations are not calibrated according to German law. E-car drivers who want to charge electricity at Tesla cannot therefore rely on the correct amount of electricity being billed according to the same general principles.
Actually, all charging stations that allow billing according to kilowatt hours must be provided with a calibrated electricity meter. That’s what calibration law wants. This is not the case with Tesla, nor with many columns from Ionity or those of other manufacturers and charging providers.
You can see why the rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure is important in the video:
On the other hand, the problem has long been known – and is officially tolerated. “The illegal operation is not hindered and not sanctioned,” said Thomas Weberpals, head of the Bavarian State Office for Weights and Measures, to the Handelsblatt. The report also shows that while Tesla is not the only charging provider with illegal charging points, it is the one with the most.
E-car drivers pay for the expansion of the charging infrastructure
There is a simple reason why the authorities have not reacted at all or hardly at all: calibrated charging stations are more expensive to buy, and the meters also have to be checked or replaced regularly – which is also a cost factor for the operator. Excessive regulation could stand in the way of the rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure, which is why, at least so far, people are not looking too closely.
Understandable in order to be able to build as many new charging points as quickly as possible. On the other hand, the step is potentially at the expense of consumers, who pay more electricity at many charging stations than is available in the battery of their electric car.