Former SAP CEO to Head German National Electromobility Initiative

The former SAP CEO Henning Kagermann has reportedly been named as chairman of the steering committee of the National Electromobility Initiative (Nationale Plattform Elektromobilität), says Handelsblatt. 

The initiative, which shall promote and advance the development and sale of electric cars, will officially be launched by Chancellor Angela Merkel on 3 May 2010.

Mr. Kagermann shall balance the differing interests of the industry sectors involved, i.e. the automobile sector, mechanical engineering, IT and the energy sector, so as to ensure that German companies play an import, if not leading role with regard to electromobility. The state secretaries of the Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWI) and the Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) will jointly be vice-chairman, as they could not agree on a candidate, Handelsblatt says.

The National Electromobility Initiative comprises seven working groups. Filling the positions in the working groups is important for the German industry, as they are influential posts, writes Handelsblatt referring to industry sources.

Handelsblatt calls the seventh working group, headed by BMW’s executive board member for R&D, Klaus Draeger, the one most crucial. It deals with the general conditions for electric cars. Questions such as whether and to what the state will give incentives for the purchase of electric cars will have to be solved, the papers points out. Due to the importance of this working group, the state will have a co-chairman, most probably Klaus Beckmann, head of the German Institute of Urban Affairs.

The other working groups are headed by a wide range of industry experts. Karl-Thomas Neumann, chief representative (Generalbevollmächtigter) of Volkswagen, will chair the working group drive technology. Daimler executive board member for R&D, Thomas Weber, will be head of the battery working group. As battery technology is critical to mass market success of electric cars, there was a lot of competition for the post of chairman for this group. Klaus Engel, CEO of Evonik, will be co-chairman and Bernd Bohr, board member with Bosch responsible for the automotive technology division, will be vice-chairman.

Source: Handelsblatt

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