Germany wants a million electric cars by 2020

Aug 19, 2009 by Aurelia End
An electric car of the model Mini type E standing behind an electric charging station in Berlin, in June 2009. The German government unveiled plans Wednesday to get one million electric cars zipping around the country by 2020, offering sweeteners to jump-start national giants like BMW and Volkswagen into action.

The German government unveiled plans Wednesday to get one million electric cars zipping around the country by 2020, offering sweeteners to jump-start national giants like BMW and Volkswagen into action.

"It is the federal government's aim that by 2020, there will be a million on Germany's streets," said Berlin's "national electro-mobility plan" which was approved by the cabinet.

"In 2030, this could be over five million. By 2050, traffic in towns and cities could be predominantly without ," the proposals added.

Berlin plans to spark development in electric cars by offering incentives for research in area such as batteries and recharging systems, as it battles to catch up with Asian firms which have zoomed ahead of their German rivals.

"We are very confident that we in Germany can provide enough of an impulse to compete with the United States and Asia," Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee told reporters.

"The Japanese are strong in hybrid technology but ... the big markets in Europe, the United States and Asia are still open," he added.

He said the goal of the plan was to "bring electro-mobility as quickly as possible into everyday life."

The plan added that Berlin is "examining an incentive programme for the purchase of 100,000 electric cars," but it nevertheless drew fire from green groups.

Environmentalists had called for a subsidy of around 5,000 euros (7,050 dollars) for consumers to buy electric cars along the lines of Berlin's five-billion-euro "cash-for-clunkers" scheme to support the traditional rolled out in January.

"The government has introduced a subsidy to sell an old technology but has not put in place incentives to buy the new ," Renate Kuenast, parliamentary group leader of the Green Party, told the Weser-Kurier regional daily.

The motorists club of (VCD) was also sharply critical of the proposals. "Electric cars are not going to save the climate in the foreseeable future," the group said in a statement.

"The government says there could be a million electric cars on the road by 2020, but this is in comparison to 50 million petrol and diesel vehicles," said Werner Korn from the VCD.

However, the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM), welcomed the plans, describing them as a "milestone towards improving the sustainability of road traffic."

German luxury car maker BMW has already teamed up with auto parts maker Bosch and its Korean partner Samsung to supply lithium-ion batteries for a future electric city car.

Volkswagen hopes to turn out its first all-electric car in 2013, VW head Martin Winterkorn said in July.

Meanwhile, Daimler launched its first hybrid model earlier in June, almost 10 years after the market leader, Japan's Toyota.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Finnish firms announce electric car plans

Aug 06, 2009

Finnish engineering company Metso's unit Valmet Automotive and utility Fortum said Thursday they will jointly develop an electric concept car to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2010.

Proton goes Dutch in electric car tie-up

Mar 31, 2009

Malaysian automaker Proton has said it will manufacture electric cars for eco-conscious markets in Europe and the United States, in a deal with Netherlands-based Detroit Electric.

Recommended for you

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

10 hours ago

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

18 hours ago

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

Finalists named in Bloomberg European city contest

23 hours ago

Amsterdam wants to create an online game to get unemployed young people engaged in finding jobs across Europe. Schaerbeek, Belgium, envisions using geothermal mapping to give households personalized rundowns of steps to save ...

Bloomberg invests $5M in solar-powered lamp

Apr 22, 2014

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation has announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lord_jag
not rated yet Aug 25, 2009
Well now that PV array makes total sense

More news stories

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.