Electric vehicles are quiet, do not emit any local emissions and are fun to drive. Developing electric vehicles and markets is key for transforming Germany’s transport system towards a higher share of renewable sources. In the face of limited fossil fuels on our planet and efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, we have to find alternatives to petrol or diesel.
Constantly on the move – but please be sustainable!
Germany aims to become a lead market for and a lead provider of electric mobility. In recent years, the German Federal Government as a whole has been supporting the development of alternative drivetrains with more than 2 billion euros.
The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure provides financial assistance for applied research and development of alternative drivetrains covering a wide range of technologies. Therefore, funding is provided for battery-only electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids as well as for hydrogen-powered fuel cells across all modes of transport and segments, including not only road vehicles but rail, shipping and aviation, too.
Apart from advancing electric mobility in the segment of private transport, efforts also target the development of carbon-reduced commercial transport as well as alternative drivetrains for buses and rail. New intermodal mobility concepts, incorporating passenger cars and buses, delivery vehicles and pedelecs as well as the application of innovative technologies are tested in electric mobility "pilot regions" and four "showcases".
In 2010, the "National Platform for Electric Mobility" (NPE) was established. The NPE is an advisory body to the German Federal Government and assembles key stakeholders for electric mobility: vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers, energy companies, scientists, professional associations and civil society.
Electric mobility with hydrogen and fuel cells
The technological development of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles is just as important as research for advancing battery-electric vehicles. In 2006, the Federal Government and private partners in Germany jointly provided 1.4 billion euros for the "National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme" (NIP).
As a key result of the ten-year programme, fuel cells in transport and stationary applications are now technologically market-ready and suitable for everyday use. Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies have the potential to serve as a connecting link between the energy and transport sectors by linking decentralized wind power plants with hydrogen generation.
The implementation of the NIP is managed by the Federal Government-owned National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW).