Environment Minister Hendricks Confirms Electromobility Goal and Demands More Efforts by Politics and Industry

Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks (SPD) confirmed the government’s goal of having 1 million electric cars on German roads by 2020 last week at a meeting of the parliamentary group concerned with electromobility. At the same time she demanded more efforts by politics and industry and informed about two ideas for more state support, however not in the form of direct grants for buyers.

1. Suggestions by Minister Hendricks for More State Support

To make electric cars financially more attractive Mrs Hendricks made two suggestions.

Firstly she said she could envisage to reduce the basis for the assessment of the tax on company cars to  render the use of electric cars more attractive. If more electric cars were used as company cars this would positively influence the market for second hand electric cars, Mrs Hendricks pointed out.

Besides, Mrs Hendricks announced to make a proposal to change the residential property law (Wohnungseigentumsrecht) to facilitate the installation of charging stations for electric cars in apartment buildings.

3. Calls for More Efforts by the Industry

Financial incentives were not enough to dispel concerns of potential customers with regard to the range of electric cars and usage habits, Mrs Hendricks said. In this regard she called on the car industry, asking to provide customers with information.

4. Electromobility in Germany – State of Play

By the end of 2014 18,948 electric passenger cars were registered in Germany, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrtbundesamt). In January 2015 659 pure electric passenger cars were registered, another 436 in February 2015 and 1,278 in March 2015 (the March data may however contain hybrid cars; unlike in the previous months the press release does not differentiate between pure electric cars and hybrid cars).

Electric cars have a great potential to limit CO2 emissions and stabilise the grids, yet the exact potential is difficult to quantify (for more information, see for example here). CO2 savings in the transport sector and promoting electric cars therefore are part of the “Action Programme on Climate Protection 2020″ (Climate Programme 2020) and the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE) the government approved in December 2014.

At the beginning of March Bundestag (Parliament) adopted an Electromobility Act, which aims to promote electromobility by granting privileges to electric cars like the use of lanes otherwise reserved to buses and with regard to parking. It does, however, not foresee direct aid (for more information, please see here). Bundesrat (Federal Council) decided not to object at the end of March 2015. The act still has to be promulgated and will enter into force the day thereafter. The application of the law is limited in time to 30 June 2030.

Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety

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