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23 Feb 2021, 11:54
Charlotte Nijhuis

EU Green Deal requires binding targets for e-car charging infrastructure – BMW CEO

Handelsblatt / Focus Online

Europe needs to show more speed and commitment to the expansion of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, CEO of German car manufacturer BMW Oliver Zipse argues in an op-ed published in Handelsblatt. The relevant product range of battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars is available, Zipse says, and these need to be met by sufficient public and private charging points. “This requires a Europe-wide effort with binding and verifiable targets,” the CEO writes. In light of the Green Deal, the EU Commission has proposed a further tightening of the CO2 fleet targets for new passenger cars from 37.5 percent reduction to 50 percent reduction in the next ten years, the CEO points out. “For each additional percent of the tightening of targets, we need at least 200,000 more public charging points – beyond the three million already required in 2030,” Zipse writes. The discussion about CO2 targets for vehicles must include “equally binding targets” for the expansion of charging infrastructure across member states, Zipse argues. Otherwise, “a Green Deal quickly becomes a one-sided requirement that no longer works”, according to the CEO. 

In an interview with Focus Online, Zipse said BMW plans to significantly reduce emissions in the supply chain of electric vehicles. The car manufacturer will only use green electricity in the production of battery cells and will source aluminum produced using solar energy, the CEO said. In addition to switching to renewables, the company wants to reduce the consumption of raw materials used for electric vehicles as well as recycle the resources, Zipse said. “We would pay a premium for the return of the vehicle at the very end of its life, based on the value of the raw materials,” he explained.

A lack of charging infrastructure is often seen as a bottleneck for the rollout of millions of e-cars over the next decade. The take-up of electric vehicles has been slow in Germany, but thanks to new government incentives, registrations have picked up sharply in recent months, leading to record new registrations. The German transport ministry plans to invest nearly two billion euros to increase the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles along the national motorway network, the Autobahn. By the end of 2023, around 1,000 charging stations should be constructed on the Autobahn and in remote parts of the country, according to a transport ministry draft.

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