In 2010, the German government stated its ambition to put one million electric cars on the streets of Germany by 2020. Today, there are under 100,000 e-cars on the roads, and just over 20,000 charging stations.
On Sunday, the chancellor expressed another “million” goal: she wants the country to have one million electric-car charging points by 2030.
Merkel will sit down again with the heads of Germany’s car companies and automotive suppliers in Berlin on Monday night to discuss how to help them transition away from fossil-fuelled mobility.
Germany’s goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, but last admitted it would miss its 2020 goal of a 40% reduction, coming in at just 32%.
There needs to be big changes in the transport sector, which accounts for the bulk of emissions or the country will fail to meet its climate goals.
“Only 2.6% of newly registered cars are electric cars…many consumers are waiting, hesitating” transport minister Andreas Scheuer told Bild newspaper. “One thing is clear: charging will be the new refuelling — it must be everywhere, anytime, and easily possible.” Scheuer hopes his charging infrastructure “masterplan” will help kickstart a faster build out of stations.
Government subsidies of up to €4,000 off the price of an electric car aren’t proving attractive enough for German drivers, who worry about the lack of points to charge their vehicles. The subsidy only applies up to a purchase price of €40,000, and currently there are not many reasonably priced electric cars on the market.
Racing to lead the way in the more affordable electric segment, Volkswagen begins production of its new ID.3 electric car at its Zwickau plant. The world’s biggest car company, still scarred from the 2015 diesel emissions scandal, is investing some €30 billion into its electric-car push, as well as going into battery-cell development.