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Last update: 01.05.2011

General Information: Electric Mobility

Establishing Germany as a lead market and lead provider in the area of electric mobility is a key aim of the federal government and German industry. Together they pursue the goal of putting at least one million electric vehicles on Germany’s roads by 2020. For 2030, the German government’s Energy Concept lays down a target of six million electric cars.

Under the National Development Plan for Electric Mobility, which was adopted on 19 August 2009, the German government established the National Platform for Electric Mobility, a body comprising highly reputed experts from industry, science and civil society, which develops proposals and measures to reach these targets. Carrying out the mandate assigned to it by Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel on 3 May 2010, the Platform delivered its first report to the Ministries for Economics (BMWi), Transport (BMVBS), Environment (BMU) and Research (BMBF) on 30 November 2010. The second report, containing key recommendations to the government, was presented to the Federal Chancellor by Prof. Henning Kagermann, the chair of the National Platform for Electric Mobility, on 16 May 2011. This report served as an important foundation for the government programme on electric mobility which was agreed by the Federal Cabinet on 18 May 2011.

The activities undertaken by the German government in the field of electric mobility are key stepping stones on the path towards a climate-friendly mobility with a low impact on the environment and quality of life. Worldwide there are currently almost one billion vehicles, 700 million of which are passenger vehicles. This figure is set to double by 2030 at the latest. This means that Germany and in fact almost all industrialised and newly industrialising countries will be faced with the major challenge of having to reduce transport-induced CO2 and pollutant emissions and dependence on oil imports. As a result we may expect stringent caps on emissions in the most important automobile markets of the future – primarily in Asia – in the 10 to 15 years to come or even access bans to inner city areas for vehicles with combustion engines.

The federal government's active support of electric mobility not only raises the quality of life in our cities and reduces our dependence on oil, it also strengthens the competitiveness of one of the pillars of our economy - the automobile industry. Moreover, electric mobility will allow us to use an increasing share of domestic, permanently available energy from renewable sources in the transport sector, while conventional cars almost entirely depend on imports of ever scarcer and more expensive oil.

However, to be able to fully exploit the huge CO2 emissions reduction potential of electric vehicles, the electricity required has to come from renewable energy sources. If renewable sources are not used we will merely shift the emissions output from vehicles to power plants.

We will thus also link two sectors in which Germany has a leading position worldwide: automobile manufacturing and plant manufacturing in the renewable energy sector. Systematic links between electric vehicles and intelligent charging technologies to facilitate the feed-in of wind and solar electricity will give German industry a key competitive edge. Electric vehicles with flexible charging times can help to integrate growing shares of fluctuating energy supply into the grid more smoothly. The BMU’s funding programme for electric mobility therefore addresses this issue as one if its crucial elements.