Germany Backs Away From Promise Of 1 Million EVs By 2020
For Europe, Germany is seen as a leader when it comes to green technology. The country’s commitment and track record with renewable energy is impressive, with almost 30 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics alone.
So when Germany said they would get 1 million EVs on the road by 2020, it was widely assumed they would achieve it, at almost any cost.
Unfortunately, through the end of August, only 4,600 of them have been registered for Germany, and an plug-in electric vehicle only accounts for about 1 in every 10,000 new cars sold.
Earlier this week
On Monday, German chancellor Angela Merkel held a meeting with Germany’s major automobile manufacturers, including BMW, VW, Porsche and Daimler, to talk about electric cars and how to get more of them onto the roads.
Apparently, that meeting did not go so well, as Ms. Merkel noted afterward that it “wouldn’t be easy” to meet the government’s million EV pledge.
Now it is time for a new pledge, with the revised magic number at “600,000 electric cars by 2020 (being) more likely.”
Another reason it probably went badly is because none of the real players in the segement were present due to their non-German roots: General Motors (who the chancellor hates after the whole Opel non-sale thing), Renault (who outsold the entire industry in Europe by a 3 to 1 factor in September), and Mitsubishi.
Analysts have put the blame squarely on pricing of the cars in Germany, and the lack of an incentive program to offset the premium for plugging in. The average electric car sold in Germany goes about 70 miles on a charge, but also retails for about €10,000 ($12,900 USD) more .
Perhaps the main reason for backing off the “1 million EV by 2020” pledge is the Euro-zone financial crisis.
While the government had said they would contribute 1 billion Euros in financial assistance and loans to companies doing reaserch and development of electric cars, direct assistance on subsidization has been put on hold.
When asked in parliament, the German chancellor has declined to offer incentives or tax breaks direct to citizens, and she says the goverment has no intention of implementing it during the current term.
So yes Germany, “no soup for you!”