National Electromobility Initiative Presents 3rd Report on Electromobility in Germany

The National Electromobility Initiative (Nationale Plattform Elektromobilität – NPE) presented its third report on the progress reached in Germany with respect to the government’s goal of having one million electric cars on German roads by 2020. NPE and the competent ministries concluded that Germany was well under way in the market preparation stage, but still had a lot of work to do. The ministers emphasised that the government wanted to continue providing financial support for R&D.

The 2nd NPE report on which the 3rd report builds had proposed a three-phase approach in order to make Germany a leading market for electric cars with 1 million cars on the roads by 2020:

  1. Until 2014: Preparation stage with focus on research and development plus show case projects
  2. Until 2017: Preparation for market launch with a focus on vehicles and infrastructure
  3. Until 2020: Beginning of mass market roll-out with sustainable business models

Germany was well on track in the market preparation stage, NPE said. The project assumptions made had mainly proven right and the focus on R&D (with flagship projects in the areas of information and communication technology, mobility concepts, charging infrastructure and grid integration, recyling and ressource efficiency, energy systems and energy storage and drive technology and lightweight construction) and four regional showcase projects was also right, NPE added. The showcase projects should be used to verify the models and assumptions for the second phase, if necessary improving or adjusting recommendations.

Considerable investments in electromobility along the whole value chain were mainly made by the industry sector, amounting to about EUR 17 billion in R&D expenses, during the market preparation stage alone, NPE pointed out. German automobile manufacturers would be able to offer 15 new electric car models for sale during the preparation stage, NPE said. The government provided financial support for R&D, NPE described the government’s contribution, pointing out funding in the amount of EUR 500 million provided between 2009 and 2011 under the 2nd economic stimulus package and the government’s announcement to allocate further funding of up to EUR 1 billon until the end of the legislative term in 2013. NPE highlighted the announcement of the cluster projects Südwest and M.A.I. Carbon im January 2012 and the four regional showcase projects in April 2012. The latter receive financial support of approximately EUR 180 million, which shall trigger further investments by the industry and additional support by the federal states, in which the projects are located.

The foundation for reaching the 2020 electromobility goal had been successfully laid, NPE concludes. The organisation explicity praises the integrated approach that brings so far unlinked areas like the transport and the energy sector together. To keep Germany on track NPE recommends the following measures:

• Implement support for the selected R&D projects

• Further education of skilled professionals and executives based on a competence roadmap for the academic and professional field

• Follow-up the issues described in the standardisation roadmap 2.0, while using the results achieved as a basis for the national and international cooperation on uniform standards

Besides, demand for innovative mobility solutions should be reflected in the procurement programmes of the public authorities, NPE said. Market developments should be monitored and the efficiency of the monetary incentives reviewed and if necessary adjusted, NPE further demanded, saying the incentives could be assessed based on the first results of the showcase projects.

In a joint press release issued by the Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), the Ministry for the Environment (BMU), the Ministry of Transport (BMVBS) and the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Ministers Rösler, Altmaier, Ramsauer and Schavan said the government wanted to support electromobility, which was an important element of the energy policy shift away from nuclear power towards a renewable energy supply, by continuing to give incentives mainly concerning R&D. Research Minister Mrs Schavan expressly named R&D concerning batteries and the energy efficiency of the whole car.

NPE will continue its work, jointly hosting with the government an international conference on electromobility in spring 2013 in Berlin.

Source: 3r NPE report; Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development

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