National Electric Mobility Conference in Berlin on
15 – 16 June 2015
“Germany has a good chance of taking the pole position in electric mobility. At present there are 19 standard production models from German manufacturers in the showrooms and a further 10 are set to follow by the end of the year. From compact cars to sports cars – electric mobility is available in nearly all segments. No other automobile nation boasts such diversity”, said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the National Electric Mobility Conference organised by the German Government, being held today and tomorrow in Berlin.
“International evaluations show that the German automotive industry is one of the leading suppliers of electric cars, but we still need to step down hard on the way to becoming the leading market”, stressed the VDA President. He pointed out that the share of electric vehicles in the total market was only 0.6 per cent. Around 36,000 new electrically powered vehicles had been registered in Germany to date. Wissmann: “The goal stated by the German Government of a million electric cars on German roads by the year 2020 can only be achieved if politicians now quickly set the right course. What we need are intelligent incentives that match our market economy system.”
One particularly low-cost and at the same time very effective inducement would be a 50 per cent tax depreciation allowance for electric company cars in the first year. After all, the commercial sector accounts for around 60 per cent of the new car market. Wissmann: “It would be desirable for the Federal Government and the individual states to agree on this, if possible before the summer break. This is because such depreciation opportunities are a convincing argument for persuading vehicle fleet managers to use e-models in their company fleets.”
Electric cars could be used particularly cost-efficiently as company cars, as on average they cover over 50 per cent more kilometres than private cars. Consequently, the higher procurement expenditures can be amortised via more favourable consumption and maintenance costs. “But not only the fleet operators of private companies need to make a move here” stressed Wissmann. “The public sector too should press ahead as a good example when renewing its own vehicle fleets.”
Local authorities should be quick to implement the Electric Mobility Act adopted. Furthermore, it is important to continue investing consistently in research and development. Wissmann sees a need to catch up in the infrastructure sector as well. At present there are 5,600 publicly accessible charging stations in Germany. “We will soon need twice as many”, explains the VDA President. “The more vehicles come onto the roads, the greater the need for re-charging en route. Charging facilities make good sense in places where people spend a certain amount of time, for example in shopping centres.” He added that the private energy sector was called upon to take action here.
Forecasts assume that in ten years over 15 per cent of all new vehicles worldwide will be electrified. “As a new technology field, the electric mobility market is being hotly contested internationally. At present the markets for e-vehicles in other countries are developing more dynamically”, said Wissmann. “The car of the future is electrically powered, networked and automated. Germany is well placed in all these fields.” The goal must be to maintain and consolidate this position in the increasingly more intensive competition between countries. “Whether this succeeds depends crucially on the political frameworks”, says Wissmann.
Wissmann stressed, “Ever more people are living in ever larger cities and want to be mobile. At the same time the expanding economic power of major emerging economies is leading to more traffic and to a higher demand for raw materials. It is important to maintain mobility as the driving force of economic growth and at the same time to conserve resources and protect the climate. Electric mobility is a key technology for such integrated climate, mobility and natural resources strategy.”
The industry will continue to do all it can to help the e-vehicles succeed, as the best times are yet to come for electric mobility, says Wissmann. “The range will increase, the prices will drop. By 2025 we expect that costs will be halved by comparison with today’s battery models.” According to the current progress report of the National Platform, the range of an electric car is now sufficient for about 90 per cent of all planned trips. This is because the average daily distance driven in Germany is only 22 kilometres. Wissmann: “And people who drive longer distances can choose a re-chargeable hybrid vehicle.”