Electric mobility in Germany and the effects on the German automotive industry
For more than six years now, the National Electric Mobility Platform (NPE) has brought together the main players from industry, the scientific community, politics and unions in strategic discussions. The NPE has been observing and analyzing developments in the area of electric mobility since May 2010. In December 2014, the NPE submitted its 2014 progress report to Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. This report summarized the results of the market preparation phase, which was then complete (2010 to 2014).
In addition, it is submitting proposals for the coming phase of market ramp-up (2015 to 2017), indicating how Germany can reach the targets that have been set by 2020 so as to become an internationally leading provider, and above all the leading market, for electric mobility.
The German automotive industry is well on the way to becoming the “lead supplier” of electric mobility. The German manufacturers offer e-vehicles in nearly all vehicle segments. In absolute figures the market for electric vehicles is still small, but it shows keen growth. Since 2007 the registration figures for electric vehicles, and thus electric mobility itself, have been increasing strongly in Germany year by year.
In August 2017 new registrations of electric vehicles (BEV, PHEV and Fuel Cell) increased by 177 % to the new record of 4,803 pieces. The dynamics are mainly driven by the PHEVs, since the number of their registrations has more than doubled. The environmental subsidy, which came into force retroactively on May 18th 2016, is increasingly driving the market. It is the BEVs that draw particular profit of the subsidy.
Vehicle electrification must continue to be driven forward, because electric mobility can answer questions about the mobility of the future. However, demand for vehicles with alternative propulsion will have to increase significantly by 2020.
Electric mobility is becoming more and more important internationally – it is the key to a sustainable mobility system that conserves resources. For this reason governments, business and scientific communities around the world are setting themselves ambitious targets for electric mobility. The market preparation phase focused on promoting research and development, standardization, and education and training. Its success is something to be proud of: in terms of the overall system, Germany’s electric mobility providers are moving into the lead in international comparison. Now the right incentives have to be provided so that the potential of German industry can be translated into greater market shares and thus make Germany the lead supplier of electric mobility.
Content of the Cabinet decision of May 18, 2016:
- Environmental subsidy of EUR 4,000 for BEVs and EUR 3,000 for PHEVs. The total will be limited to EUR 1.2 billion which will be provided by the Government and the automotive industry in equal measure. To run until mid-2019 at the latest. Applications will be processed by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA).
- Investments of EUR 300 million in constructing a publicly accessible charging infrastructure, EUR 200 million of which for rapid charging and EUR 100 million for normal charging.
- Procurement program of EUR 100 million.
- “Pecuniary benefit” will no longer apply to workplace charging.
- Exemption from motor vehicle tax for purely electric vehicles for 10 years.
The players in Germany are working intensively on boosting the capability of the overall electric mobility system. The German OEMs will greatly increase the range and availability of competitive vehicles in the individual segments by 2020. The NPE recommends the following flanking measures for the period from 2017 to 2020:
1. Jointly expand research and development.
2. Support entrepreneurial decisions for integrated cell and battery production in Germany.
3. A common investment program to establish a publicly accessible charging infrastructure.
4. Create the legal conditions to enable the construction of both private and publicly accessible charging infrastructure.
5. Observe market ramp-up and adjust promotion as needed.
The Electric Mobility Act entered into force in July 2015. It allows municipalities to decide for themselves in the future how to encourage electric cars locally – for example with free parking or special access rights. This will require a standardized labeling system. Since mid-September 2015, it has been possible to apply to the registration authority for this under a general administrative regulation.
The National Platform for Electric Mobility continues to work for electric mobility in Germany. In summer 2016 high-ranking representatives from business, society, academia and politics met in Berlin at the invitation of the German Government, for the national conference on electric mobility. The conference slogan was “The electric car – extravagance for a few or automotive normality of the future?”.