Angela Merkel: Germany Must Invest Heavily In Electric Cars


Chancellor Angela Merkel, while visiting Daimler’s ACCUMOTIVE’s battery plant in Kamenz, said that Germany must invest more heavily into electric vehicles, to ensure the country is not left behind (somewhat ironically, considering the German government’s recent and fairly lackluster EV rebate of up to  €4,000 for BEVs/ €3,000 for PHEVs, but 50% cost-split with the OEMs themselves).

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – April 2017

As for the sales on the ground, this year has begun great in Germany (relatively speaking), as sales have doubled year-over-year.

However those numbers are off of a low benchmark, and the goal of one million plug-in cars by 2020, set few years ago, is now totally out of reach.

The Chancellor herself came under fire in May when she admitted the target will be missed.

Despite the results to date, Merkel encouraged automakers to invest more in the tech, and also to add battery cell production to the equation. Currently all German manufacturers are using batteries from Asian companies, with a few fractional exceptions.

Even Daimler, which is currently investing $10 billion into building a battery factory solely for assembling the packs.

“We need long-term horizons and companies that invest in the future. It is important that electric mobility is ready for the market as quickly as possible.”

“Merkel said new technologies sometimes take time to get off the ground and end up being exploited by those other than their original inventors, citing the example of German engineer Konrad Zuse, who developed the first programmable computer in 1941.”

“”This should be a lesson for technology policy. We don’t want to experience that again,” she said.”


Volkswagen I.D. Crozz

Other German groups are also shifting strategies to focus on plug-ins.

Volkswagen is preparing for a big push when its new MEB platform will be ready in about a year, while separately Audi and Porsche are also developing their own models on  theVW Group shared platforms.

Other German OEM, BMW is already one of the top plug-in manufacturers, with a broad portfolio of 9 plug-ins and even more planned for the near future; hopefully some of them will be serious ‘volume’ offerings.

Angela Merkel noted that the German government has invested 35 million euros into battery research, and she had been briefed about the latest in lithium battery cells, which could allow cars to travel up to 1,000 km (600 miles) without needing to be recharged. Well, that would be something, unlike Germany’s sales projections, if those range numbers turned into a reality.

source: Reuters

Category: BMWDaimlerVW,


37 responses to "Angela Merkel: Germany Must Invest Heavily In Electric Cars"
  1. Hauer says:

    Pushing diesel forever, supporting coverup of diesel scandal. and now blablabla.
    Thanks, but thanks no.

    1. John says:

      First they resist hybrid gas engine,then plugin hybrid,then BEV. Now all this? Angela, you guys are stealing from Japanese, Elon Musk, not the other way around!

  2. Alaa says:

    She had


    and many others, years ago. Then Tesla came and still she did nothing and will do nothing because Putin has to give her the ok first and he will not.

    Look at this from Wiki

    By holding 17% of Volkswagen’s ordinary stock and 13% of preferred shares, Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund is the third largest investor shareholder in the firm.[37][38]

    Does any one think they will allow Electrification?

    MB etc also are partly owned by the Arabs.

    1. KM says:

      If EU was to introduce quotas of EVs to be sold like they are planning in China then it simply would not matter who was the share holder.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        EU is not communist dictatorship like China yet, they can’t just send tanks to streets and kill all unhappy population. And voters would not be happy in most of EU countries with too many quotas and high car prices. They are already quite high and even forcing controls of existing diesel emission is political problem.

        1. says:

          But they are thrilled with not being able to breathe and start wearing face masks like the Chinese do…seriously, buy a plane ticket and visit and major city. People will have no choice on this, they will ask for it.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            I have spent half of my life there. Yes you can see from above some grey cloud in a city valley sometimes, and so what. Few are asking for stricter emission inspections, they are just mad their old beaten up diesel not passing it and blame “conspiracies against diesels”. Neither are they putting money where their mouth is when the time comes to buy a new car. Diesel cars are still almost half of new car sales in Europe, although in decline recently.

            1. says:

              Not sure which area of EU you talk about, where my parents live 90% of cars sold are diesels. They are now starting to see the writing on the wall. This will take place through policy imposed on the dumb people otherwise they will keep suffering and do nothing about it. It’s human nature to live for today and not care about tomorrow…because, you know, tomorrow you may be dead anyway.

              1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                Yes. Though if you as politician treat people as dumbos and push them around, they tend to get annoyed and elect somebody like current POTUS to show you a middle finger. Or vote to kick EU out and mind their own business on island.

                It may take decades until the “writing on the wall” will make any significant difference on new car sales, not to mention existing cars & trucks.

                1. Paul Smith says:

                  Decades? Hahaha. London already has restrictions on non zero emission vehicles. So do most large cities in China, and many EU cities are ready to start.

      2. john Doe says:

        They are.. just like the Euro classifications change for ICE cars.
        Read the eMobility stuff from EU.

        Production numbers will be high. There is a real infrastructure and business commitment.

        The global EV sales are still a drop in the bucket – but between 2018-2022 will be an interesting time.

        1. john Doe says:

          For a short introduction on emobility:

          It has to do with the EVs, smart grids, solar and wind energy, and other infrastructure cases. They are making the protocols for smart grid and EV interaction – so the EVs can work as batteries for the grid, and charge when it is cheapest.

    2. Joe says:

      Norway is a big petroleum producer and still pushes for EVs.

      1. john Doe says:

        Cars have alwayw been super expensive in Norway.
        There has been a tax on vehicle weight, engine volume, the power it produces, the fuel the engine used and so on.
        The taxes have changed gradually over the years. Vehicle weight has increased due to safety issues, and just the airbags weighs a lot. So they had to reduce the taxes on weight, as safer cars are heavier.
        They had to change the engine volume tax, as a Mazda with a Wankel engine (small volume, high power) would be very cheap.
        So then they changed the taxes from volume to how powerful the engine was. More power, more tax.
        Then newer technology made even stronger enginges more environmentally friendly, so they focused on CO2 emmissions due to global warming (and the NOx was ignored). Diesel engines became cheaper, and they used less fuel as well, and had a higher torque at lower RPMs.
        Then they started to change that as well, and the number of diesels in slowly falling.
        The electric cars had no emissions, and there was one or two small Norwegian companies that made EVs. To help those companies, and to reduce emissions they started to sell EVs with no value added tax, no tax on weight/power and stuff like that. They could drive in the bus lane, and they could park for free. They could use road ferries for free too.
        The Norwegian EV companies used the wrong batteries, wrong charging solutions and was not any good in industrialisation, and was not being able to produce an effective and automated production line, so the car was supposed to be buildt in Finland. But in the mean time the company went bust a few times, and lost momentum, and was unable to use lithium ion batteries.
        They number of EVs sold was increasing, and the politicians felt smug. They could boost of how green they were.
        Now that EV sales are going up and up – much more then the politicians could imagine, they understood they was loosing more and more taxes from cars – which they normally would get 60 billion crowns for every year. That is a lot, compared to the number of people living in Norway.
        In the US, that would be equal to 487 billion dollars in car taxes every year. Actually, it would be much higher due to the higher number of cars and the number of gas guzzlers, compared to Norway.
        If we had removed the environmental taxes on fuel, and all car taxes – there would be larger engines and larger cars in Norway.
        A basic Camaro has a MSRP of 26 000 dollars in the US. It would be impossible to buy this car in Norway for less then 100 000 dollars.
        So that is why I can count about 1000 Teslas for every Camaro I see. And then I have counted cars even made in the 70s. Because the Tesla model S cost almost half of a Camaro.

        The number of EVs are therefor a result of economy (cheap to buy and cheap to use), expensive fuel, high taxes on ICE cars, and of course people who cares about the environment.
        Tiny gas cars, with tiny 3 cylinder engines does not cost a lot in Norway. But fuel and maintenance cost some, parking cost more then it should, and there are road tolls and so on.. so even though a small gas car is cheaper to buy then most smaller EVs, there are so many reasons to buy an EV.
        Usually an EV is packed with equipment, due to the fact there is no taxes on the car, and the equipment it comes with. While the gas car is fully taxed, and all the extras cost more..

    3. Ambulator says:

      I hadn’t realized that Jeremy Rifkin was so successful in Europe. No wonder they are having problems.

    4. paul smith says:

      The oil shieks are invested heavily in renewables. Besides,

  3. AlphaEdge says:

    > and she had been briefed about the latest in lithium battery cells, which could allow cars to travel up to 1,000 km (600 miles) without needing to be recharged.

    They fed her a fantasy to keep the funding going.

    1. Sure, and I could make my Short Range, 4 Seat, EV Conversion, into a 2 Seat model, and use the space for more batteries and get more range, too!

      Or put an 8 inch Lift Kit on it so I could increase the range with a double thick pack underneath, too! Or Both!

      Basically, What kind of Vehicle would this 600 mile range per charge EV be?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “What kind of Vehicle would this 600 mile range per charge EV be?”

        Probably one with all the cargo space and most or all of the rear seat passenger space taken up by batteries. Perhaps like this:

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Good to see the German Chancellor “gets” the importance auto makers keeping up with the EV revolution. Too bad German auto makers don’t.

    Eventually that’s a problem which will correct itself. But the German auto makers, and the workers in that industry, may not like how that works out.

    Burying your head in the sand and ignoring a disruptive tech revolution is not a winning business strategy. Just ask Eastman Kodak!

    If you do not control events, then events will control you.

  5. SJC says:

    Plenty of time with less that 1% of the cars EVs. First to be second works many times.

    1. Alan says:

      +99% !

    2. Looks like Tesla was first with Model S & X, and will also be second, with the Model 3!

      By the time they are shipping into Germany, they should already be moving up from producing 4,000+ Model 3’s per Week, to 10,000 per week. Can they get moving faster than late 2018?

    3. Tosho says:

      But they are not even in the top 10 …

  6. midimal says:

    Angela stop this Diesel b******* in Germany – and start SERIOUS EV-Programms!

  7. Davek says:

    …and this ahead of the the plug-in rebates being reduced at the beginning of 2018; 3000€ instead of 4000€ for EVs, 2000€ instead of 3000€ for PHEVs. And the program will end in 2019, despite the fact that it was funded with 1.2 billion Euros and not even close to that amount will have been used by then.

    We’ll see what happens after the election in the fall, but I’m not optimistic that this will be a major issue, or if it is a major issue, that it’ll be something that most people are in favour of. Frankly I assume that the average Diesel-swilling German would rather not see subsidies for cars that they’d never buy themselves… :'(

  8. Delta says:

    This picture captures the true essence of a “Kodak Moment”.

    1. jpo234 says:

      Not really. Kodak saw the market for its main product vanish.
      Car makers are more like camera makers like Canon, Olympus or Nikon. They are still making cameras, just with digital sensors instead of film.

      1. Tosho says:

        And Kodak did not build cameras?

        1. jpo234 says:

          Some, but their bread and butter products were films. And digital cameras simply did not need films anymore.
          Car makers main product are cars that are (for traditional OEMs) currently powered mostly by combustion engines. BEVs are still cars, just powered by different engines.

    2. jpo234 says:

      A “Kodak Moment” for car makers would arrive if somebody built a Star Trek like transporter that makes cars superfluous.
      The transition to BEVs shakes them up, but it doesn’t replace their main product.

  9. Someone out there says:

    Batteries aren’t just important for German car makers but also for the “Energiewende”. They have every reason to go all in on battery manufacturing at this point.

  10. trackdaze says:

    Here are some back of the eyelid projections for the german market

    50000 on the road up to 2016
    50000 sold 2017
    100000 sold 2018
    200000 sold 2019

    So by 2020 half a million.

    Now if it were to double again in 2020 they wouldnt be too far off.

    Worth mentioning BMW* alone is likely to sell 100,000 plug ins Worldwide this year.

    *granted some of them have terribly undersized batteries.

  11. bogdan says:

    They are still making huge profits today, but everybody knows that this will come to an end soon.
    Merkel is trying to persuade the automakers to switch to EV for years. She just doesn’t have the power to force them to do it, nor to punish them for not doing it. And she knows time is running up.

  12. Tosho says:

    “Investing” in something and making something happen are two different things…

  13. John says:

    They do not possess any advantage any more if pushing for EV, that’s why they were not doing it. They have excess wind gerenation and BEV is the right way to absorb it. They are jumping in because of Tesla because they don’t want to be perceived technically inferior which they were already so that they can sell gas mobile for exorbitant price. End of story! German hypocrisy at its best!