Chancellor Angela Merkel called on German industry and politics to grab the global lead in in electric mobility.
In a video podcast over the weekend, Merkel said: "We want Germany to be the leader in electro-mobility, both as a market and as a provider.”
Merkel acknowledged that achieving this goal won’t be easy. "There are many competitors worldwide, especially in Asia. But we believe we can build on the excellent capabilities of our manufacturers in the auto industry,” she said.
Merkel cited two major challenges: battery manufacturing, where she said she was optimistic that her country would quickly make up lost territory; and the creation of the necessary infrastructure for electric vehicles.
The German government wants to have 1 million electric vehicles on the country's roads by 2020 and Merkel said that "by 2030, that total could be 6 million.”
Germany’s National Platform Electromobility, a grouping of representatives from industry and politics, is scheduled to present a second report Monday. The group's role is to outline the path Germany needs to take to meet its electric-vehicle goals.
Separately, the Handelsblatt newspaper reported that Merkel's government is planning to commit 1 billion euros to help achieve its goals. In an interview, Research and Technology Minister Annette Schavan said the government will step up its efforts considerably. "That obviously is the case in particular for the Research Ministery," she told Handelsblatt.
Schavan said the country with the biggest technology competence will be successful in the electric-vehicle market.
Said Schavan: "The state concentrates on r&d; it is the responsibility of the companies then that there will be a self-sustaining market."