The German government attaches a high level of significance to the promotion of electric mobility. It is an important element of a climate-friendly energy and transport policy. "Electromobility" offers the opportunity to support societies with innovative, globally demanded products to shape their way of living in a sustainable way. Electric vehicles are seen as a viable way to enjoy mobility that is both environmentally friendly and fit for the future.
In 2007, the German Federal Government’s Integrated Energy and Climate Programme cited electromobility, the system of electric drive vehicles and their charging infrastructure, as a major building block to reach its climate targets.
Electric mobility holds tremendous promise and potential, for several reasons:
Electric vehicles help to protect the climate and the environment (by reducing emissions of CO2 and other pollutants).
Electric mobility is a crucial future-oriented industry that can secure up to one million jobs in Germany, particularly in small- and medium-sized companies.
The use of electric vehicles will reduce Germany’s dependence on oil-based fuels.
Electricity used to power vehicles will be drawn from renewable energy sources. At the same time, the batteries of electric vehicles create new opportunities for storing renewable energy, which will contribute to the long-term stability of power grids.
That's why the German government places a high priority on pressing forward with the development of electric mobility. Germany has a clear target: by 2020, one million electric vehicles should be used on the country’s roads.
Motivating factors for the German government and industry to push the development of electromobility.
The “National Strategic Conference on Electromobility” in November 2008 kick-started a multitude of measures, which were discussed here with stakeholders of industry, research and politics, and which has lead to the National Development Plan for Electric Mobility.
The target of one million electric vehicles on the road in Germany by 2020 is part of the National Development Plan for Electric Mobility, which the German government adopted in 2009. Initial research and development projects as well as projects in model regions have been launched as part of the German government's second stimulus package, which allocated 500 million euros for this purpose for the period 2009 to 2011.
Four ministries are involved when it comes to electro mobility: the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Meanwhile, they have funded a multitude of projects and measures, using the funds of the second stimulus package as well as directing regular research funding as far as appropriate towards electro mobility.
On 3 May 2010, the German chancellor convened a high-level meeting with leaders from industry, science, and other key stakeholders. Key outcomes included the creation of a National Platform for Electric Mobility (NPE) and the adoption of a Joint Declaration.
The NPE brings together within a single forum all of the key stakeholders along the new value chain regarding electro mobility. Representatives from industry, science and government are cooperating closely within the framework of the NPE to develop concrete steps for achieving two central goals. First, Germany aims to become a leading market in the electric mobility sector, with at least one million electric vehicles on the country's roads by 2020. Second, Germany wants to become a leading provider in the electric mobility sector as well. Germany is one of the world's top exporters. By developing and marketing highly innovative products, Germany aims to attain a top position in the global electric mobility market as well.
NPE published its third report on July 20, 2012 and stated that Germany is on the right track to become a leading provider for electromobility solutions and establish a well-functioning market by 2020. The report was presented at a joint press conference of the four federal ministries involved and is available in German and English.