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04 Mar 2019, 13:33
Rachel Waldholz

German carmakers plan €58 billion investment in e-mobility, self-driving cars

Clean Energy Wire / The Daily Telegraph / Die Welt / Deutsche Welle

German carmakers are planning a major investment in electric vehicles over the next three years, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) announced in a press statement released ahead of the Geneva International Motor Show. “The ramp-up of electric mobility is coming in Europe,” said VDA president Bernhard Mattes.

"We will invest more than 40 billion euros in electric mobility in the next three years, plus a further 18 billion euros in digitization, networked and automated driving,” Mattes said in the statement. He added that a major increase in electric vehicles is the only way to meet the EU’s 2030 climate targets, and much of that increase must take place in Germany. That will require investments from both carmakers and governments, Mattes said, including a rapid expansion of charging infrastructure, incentives for buyers, and a nationwide 5G mobile network. 

The announcement comes at a crucial moment for the German and international car industry, reports Hasan Chowdhury in The Daily Telegraph, noting that worldwide vehicle sales have “stalled.”

VDA predicts domestic car production in Germany will “fall significantly this year,” Deutsche Welle reports. Automakers expect to produce about 5 percent fewer cars this year in Germany, but foreign assembly will increase, and employment is expected to remain stable.

Meanwhile, Germany is falling behind Japanese and Korean carmakers when it comes to powering cars with hydrogen fuel cells, Nikolaus Doll reports in Die Welt.

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