Eastern Germany offers significant potential for burgeoning e-mobility sector - report
Clean Energy Wire
The establishment of U.S. carmaker Tesla will likely lead to the emergence of an electromobility cluster in Germany’s Berlin-Brandenburg region that could benefit from the numerous small and medium-sized companies already operating in eastern Germany’s automotive industry, according to a report by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in Karlsruhe and the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW in Leipzig. While much smaller than the automotive industry in western Germany, the region nevertheless offers significant potential for the burgeoning electromobility sector, according to the report, which was commissioned by the Labour and Environment Foundation of the IG BCE trade union for mining, chemicals and energy industries. Unlike western rivals, for example, many original equipment manufacturers in eastern Germany have already partially or completely switched production to electric motors.
While the automotive industry is affected by such challenges as climate change, raw material availability, demographics, innovation pressure and international competition, the establishment of regionally closed value chains and a circular economy can strengthen the European automotive industry and save resources and emissions, the researchers note. The establishment of an international electric vehicle production cluster in Brandenburg, they argue, could reduce dependence on volatile world markets. To further strengthen eastern Germany’s automotive sector, the Fraunhofer researchers recommend research subsidies for small and medium-sized companies and the establishment of test fields for new types of mobility models.