German Chancellor Urges More Incentives To Push Electric Cars

Dec 02, 2014 01:30 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma


German states may be offering more incentives in the near future to encourage consumers to purchase electric cars.

The country is behind in its goal of 1 million electric vehicles by 2020, and more incentives will be required to help it catch up, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"There's a lot to do," Merkel said today at a Berlin press conference, Bloomberg News reported. "We see that further subsidies are necessary. We must speak with the German states about that."

So far, the country's zero-emission offerings include BMW's i3, Daimler AG's Smart car in a battery-powered version and Mercedes-Benz's B-Class.

The German government has been resistant to offering subsidies for low-emission autos. In France, buyers can be tempted by incentives of as much as 6,300 euros ($7,840) to help them purchase an EV.

Merkel is urging the push for electric cars as Germany looks to catch up with France, Japan and the U.S., where carmakers have rapidly been developing EV offerings.

To help the country's push for a million electric cars, 400 more charging stations will be added to make travel easier. Germany already has 4,800 such stations.

"We need a super-charger infrastructure where you can charge 80 percent of the battery in 15 minutes," said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, as quoted by Bloomberg. "The government can help to establish standards for plugs to make the charging stations accessible for vehicles of all brands. We're still very much in the wild electro-west."

One of the German government's next moves to promote electric cars will be to hold a conference in Berlin next summer to discuss ways the country can further the push for EVs.

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