Germany ranked near the middle in an international comparison of markets for electric vehicles, demonstrating there is room for improvement, the government said. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Ramping-up the market for electric vehicles is the focus of this year’s National Conference on Electromobility, taking place on 15-16 June in Berlin.
Though much has been accomplished in recent years, “there is very clearly still some catching up to do,” Economic Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday (15 June).
Overall, good progress has been made in the market preparation phase for electric motor vehicles in Germany between 2011 and 2014, Gabriel indicated. But improvements must still be made in the range of vehicles, the number of charging stations and the charging time for individual vehicles, he pointed out.
Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said electromobility is a big opportunity for the transportation sector to contribute to environmental protection.
“A completely decarbonised global economy, as the G7 countries confirmed at Schloss Elmau, is only possible if the transportation sector says goodbye to fossil fuels,” Hendricks stated.
In this context, the development of electromobility in the passenger car sector cannot fulfill the achievements desired, the Environment Minister explained. “The market development that we had actually expected, continues to lack crucial momentum,” Hendricks added.
At this year’s National Conference on Electromobility, actors from industry and politics hope to find an interim balance. They will cover a variety of subjects from the phase of market preparation to boosting the market to moving toward a mass market.
Forum topics range from technological basics to economic and environmental policy perspectives to framework conditions and market incentives for electromobility.
Germany currently has 19 e-car models, according to the federal government. By the end of the year, there are expected to be 30 models. The government’s goal is to have one million electric cars on German roads by 2020.
In an international comparison of lead markets, Germany ranked near the middle, according to information from the four ministries involved in e-mobility. But with a 95% increase in sales in 2015 within the first four months of this year, compared to the same time last year, Germany showed considerable momentum.
NABU makes sobering assessment of electromobility
Meanwhile, the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU)’s assessment of the electric car market in Germany was sobering. Despite the considerable need for low emissions vehicles, from a climate policy perspective, the German government’s commitment to promoting environmentally friendly transportation has been insufficient.
“So far, the German government has not made a serious attempt at initiating a transportation transition,” said NABU’s national director Leif Miller.
“Instead, we are seeing more and more high performance SUVs in urban regions, which hinder a much-needed reduction in consumption. That contradicts all the demands for climate protection, to which Chancellor Angela Merkel just recently committed herself to at the G7 Summit,” Miller commented.
NABU predicts Germany will miss its 1-million-target to considerably increase the share of electric cars on the road.
But, more importantly, the organisation said there has been a failure to integrate these vehicles in a sustainable transportation system consisting of less cars, more cycle and foot traffic and a stronger public transportation system.
“The electric car is by far not the solution to all of our mobility problems,” said NABU transportation expert Daniel Rieger. “Excessively high surface and resource use as well as noise persist. But without more electromobility it will not work. That is why we need financial incentives for low-emissions vehicles accompanied by an extra fee on cars that are particularly harmful to the environment.”