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German battery-car data shock

2012-10-02 07:12

MOTOR MAESTRO MEETS MORKEL: German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche to a meeting on October 1, 2012 in Berlin to discuss electro-mobility. Image: AFP

BERLIN, Germany – German chancellor Angela Merkel has acknowledged that her country will struggle to reach its target of a million battery cars on its roads by 2020.

However, she insisted, the goal should be kept in sight even though one expert warns only half the target might be achieved.

Merkel told a news conference with representatives who oversee Germany's electric mobility strategy: "The objective of a million electric cars on the roads in 2020 will not be very easy to attain."

However, the chancellor added: "We agree that it would be a mistake to abandon this objective - we still have eight years of work."


She said the issue of electric mobility was "complex", requiring co-operation between vehicle manufacturers, producers of batteries, sub-contractors and others.

Germany set the target in 2008 and said it wanted to be a pilot market in the field. The idea allowed until 2014 to prepare and for mass-production of electric cars to start in 2017.

In June 2012, however, Henning Kagermann, the country’s electric transport policy co-ordinator, warned that without additional incentives only about half the target number would be achieved.

Automakers have vowed to launch 15 models of battery cars while German industry as a whole is to plough the equivalent of as much as R175-billion into the sector by 2014, according to figures from the German automobile industry federation.

The German government offers tax incentives to battery-car buyers but campaigners say much more needs to be done to encourage people to switch from petrol or diesel to electric vehicles.


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