Within the next ten years, “electromobility” will be a routine way of life in Germany. Its Federal Government is investing heavily in new technology, research & development and labour force training & qualification. Its mission? To bring one million electric vehicles on the country’s roads by 2020. Ambitious? Perhaps, but the efforts are on in full swing.
Dr Philipp Rösler, Germany’s Federal Minister of Economics and Technology had recently said that in the long run, the government “intends to develop a new lead market for electro-mobility in Germany and our country will be the lead provider in this regard.” He had also said that Germany intends to be active in the creating of more uniform framework conditions at the European level.
To make its programme successful, the government has decided on many incentives for the public: No vehicle for ten years for the owners of environment-friendly and energy-efficient vehicles, special parking facilities for owners of such vehicles (the Ministry of Transport has already introduced a new traffic sign for this purpose), dedicating special lanes/loading lanes or allowing the use of bus lanes for electric vehicles.
It is not just this. Since the German automotive market is still the largest in Europe, the government has framed enticing policies for companies ready to bite the bait. Every third vehicle manufactured in Europe rolls out of the factory of a German automobile company. Add to this the fact that Germany tops Europe in the registration of new vehicles.
This is the age of new technology for road transport. So, in order to meet the demands of an ever-expanding technology market, and fulfill their needs of basic components like batteries and electric motors for the electric vehicles, the automobile manufacturers have already begun entering into partnership agreements with electromobility manufacturers. It is all about meeting each other’s demands. Efforts are on to develop just the right vehicle technology for the purpose.
In Germany, politicians and economy experts are all focused on finding a solution to the fast depleting fossil fuels. and their objective is to reduce 1990 greenhouse gas levels by 40% by 2020. This will help the country achieve its goal of becoming the leader and provider in the “smart mobility” market soon. That is why it is strongly promoting all facets of smart mobility: Batteries, drive technology, lightweight construction, information & communications technology (ICT), infrastructure, and recycling. It is important to note that even after one million electric vehicles hit the roads by 2020, there will still be 39 million vehicles with internal combustion engines on the road.
There is a proper process that follows the objective. The vehicles will have to be modified and made as energy efficient as possible and for that, turbochargers, variable valve controls, lightweight construction, and efficient transmission systems will be the target areas. According to a press release, “the electric cars of the future must be economically viable and have a sufficiently large range”.
Complementary technologies too will have to be developed to replace fossil fuels in order to make the effort entirely successful. Hybrid technology and fuel cell technology vehicles have already found acceptance in this regard. The latter is a speciality of Germany.
Electric vehicles will be effective if they are fuelled by electricity derived from renewable energy sources. That is where Germany gains ground. Wind and solar energy too are energy sources though.