It seems to be clear today that the electro-mobility is the future: electric vehicles have many advantages, such as lower CO2 emissions, lower costs compared to diesel or gasoline vehicles, sustainable energy sources and, in the case of electric bicycles, even a significant reduction in traffic in cities. This is a well-known fact to the German government that decided to allocate 4000 Million euros to the electro mobility research.
The electro-mobility sector is experiencing an evident development that needs to be accompanied by suitable industrial policy framework conditions and incentives. Therefore, the German government has been supporting electromobility with state aid programmes for some time already. Since 2009, over 100 projects have already been carried out as part of the BMU's electromobility funding . The latest initiative by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is to support research into electromobility, this is to say the "Elektro-Mobil" funding programme.
According to the directive for the funding of research and development accorded by the above-mentioned ministers, both ministers will provide a total of around 400 million euros in funding through a various calls for proposals. This action is part of a subsidy framework that is valid until 2025 and which aim is to support Germany's further development as a lead market and lead provider in the electromobility's field.
The initiative of funding covers all components of electromobility such as technology, battery research, standardisation, the value chain, grid integration and the intelligent billing of electricity and charging stations and infrastructure, but nevertheless particular attention is given to the fields in which considerable gains in knowledge can still be expected, like for example Vehicles of the EC vehicle classes N1, N2 and N3 as well as cross' sectoral applications and transport sectors which contribute significantly to the CO2 emissions such as logistic transport.
Another important key identified as crucial for succeeding is digitalisation, which the initiative also supports. The project in fact intends to contribute to unlocking the systemic advantages, reducing the overall system costs of electromobility, optimise electricity market and grid of integration and financing options for the construction and operation of the charging infrastructure, lowering the barries to the industrialisation of the new technology, removing barriers to purchase and integrating electromobility economically into the energy turnaround.
Eligible applicants identified are commercial enterprises, universities, and non-university research institutions as well as public administration institutions that can carry out the research tasks in terms of personnel and materials. Small and medium-sized enterprises are encouraged to apply as well.
The German government's commitment to this issue is also due to the sustainability goals that Europe has set and that Germany, like other European countries, has accepted. Germany's current targets are to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 and to reduce them by 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. To reach these goals, climate, energy and industry politics are supposed to walk hand by hand. Thus, electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and energy system must grow together in order to create and take full advantage of the synergies between the energy and transport sectors.
Greenhouse gas neutrality is to be achieved in Germany in 2050. Regarding this, Minister Schulze sates:
"Only with a strong range of electric vehicles and a reliable charging infrastructure will we achieve our climate protection goals in transport. The research funding for electric mobility, which began over 12 years ago, makes a significant contribution to this. It is an expression of the Federal Government's united efforts to make electric drive in transport a success."
Another aspect to consider in this topic is also the creation of new jobs. As minister Altmeier states, in order to create new value and qualified jobs in Germany, the transition to electromobility becomes essential, as well as research and innovation:
"It is a matter of developing innovative and environmentally friendly products and processes in mobility that are successful in the market. This strengthens the competitiveness of our industry and secures jobs in Germany."
Therefore, the potential of electromobility is emerging more and more every day, making research into these issues increasingly important. In this context, the German government is committed to provide funding for electromobility research to make Germany and the world more sustainable.