By Roy L Hales
There are more EVs on the road than in any other nation. More than 83,000, according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority. They built enough charging stations to service 30% of the nation’s cars. Germany leads Central Europe’s EV Adoption.
How Germany Hopes To Lead
“The EU’s 2030 target – a 37.5% reduction in car CO2 emissions – is extremely ambitious and demanding …By 2030, 7 to 10.5 million e-cars must be on the road in Germany. This is only possible with high customer acceptance and optimal framework conditions – and anything but a self-perpetuator. For this, the German automotive industry is making enormous advances: manufacturers and suppliers are investing 40 billion euros in research and development of alternative drive systems over the next three years. This leads to an impressive model offensive: Our manufacturers will quintuple their model range by 2023 to more than 150 E models. Every third patent in the field of electromobility and hybrid drive worldwide comes from Germany,” explained Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (Verband der AutomobilIndustrie)
“Internationally successful eCars are crucial for the future of our auto industry and thus for hundreds of thousands of jobs in Germany,” said Peter Altmaier, Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy.
“This requires investment, but creates a huge opportunity for private companies to stake a claim in an industry heading for a period of explosive growth,” explained Stefan Di Bitonto, Senior Manager of Automobile Industries at GTAI.
Rebates For Owners
New vehicle owners can expect rebates of €4,000 for purely electric vehicles and €3,000 for plug-in hybrids. More than 118,000 are known to have applied as of May, 2019. The rebates will continue until the €600 million has allocated to this project is spent, or, failing that, Dec 31, 2020.
Since the summer of 2018, Germany added another 7, 000 charging stations to its infrastructure. This bringing the national total to 20, 650. About 12% of these are fast charging.
“The growth in public charging stations is a positive signal for the expansion of e-mobility in Germany,” says digital energy technologies expert Marlen Brüntrup of Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI). “But further growth in the charging infrastructure will still be needed and that offers attractive opportunities for foreign companies’ products: from charging stations and batteries to smart grid technologies and digital solutions.”
German Manufacturers Go Electric
The first German made EV with more than 1,000 sales in a month is the VW e-Golf, which had 1,007 registrations in July 2019.
Volkswagen is going electric and has devoted €80 billion to its new electric fleet. The last gas powered VW will be built in 2026, by which time the company hopes to be manufacturing 3 million EVs a year.
BMW e-Cars lead the nation in terms of German made domestic sales this year and may soon catch up to foreign imports like the Renault Zoe (6,461 registrations) and Tesla Model 3 (5,806).
As of July, the stats for German made e-Cars in 2019 were:
- BMW i3 – 5,488 registrations
- VW e-Golf – 3,687
- BMW 255xe – 2,686
- Audi e-tron – 2,312
- BMW 530e -2,041
- Mercedes 500e/de – 1,820
- Porsche Panamera PHEV
Audi hopes to release a more affordable entry level EV, by late 2020-early 2021, that could quickly rise to the top of that list. There is also the highly publicized VW ID.3.
Mattes says the German Auto industry is investing €18 billion in digitization and automated driving.
“Combining the key expertise of our two companies will boost our innovative strength and speed up the spread of this technology,” said Klaus Froehlich, BMW’s head of development.
Meanwhile an e-Golf fleet of five autonomous vehicles is being tested in Hamburg.
“The World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) will take place in Hamburg in two and a half years. Automated driving will play a big role. I am pleased that we have already gained a first user for our test track with our strategic partner Volkswagen. We will establish Hamburg as a model city for intelligent mobility and present many innovative mobility projects to the world public in 2021,” says Michael Westhagemann, Hamburg Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation.
Top photo credit: Volkswagen is testing fully automated driving in Hamburg with its specially equipped e-Golf – courtesy Volkswagen