The VW emissions scandal and looming driving bans in Stuttgart and other cities are beginning to have a serious impact on diesel car sales, reports Philipp Vetter in a front-page article for newspaper Die Welt. The share of diesel vehicles in new car registrations has fallen almost 10 percentage points to around 40 percent since the VW emissions scandal, as both private buyers and companies increasingly opt for other technologies. This is causing serious problems for carmakers, because they rely on diesel engines to stay below EU fleet emission limits.
In a commentary in the same newspaper, Daniel Wetzel writes that the fate of the diesel engine will likely depend “which sort of panic” dominates – fear of climate change, which would favour diesel engines, or fear of local emissions, which slows diesel sales.
German sales of pure e-cars and plug-in hybrids almost doubled in March compared to last year, but at 1.2 percent, their combined share of new registrations remains tiny.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
German car association (VDA) / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The German car industry has stepped up its rhetoric against looming diesel car bans, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. “Whoever wants to ban diesel is also against climate protection,” said the head of the German carmakers’ association (VDA), Matthias Wissmann, at an event in Berlin. He said the German car industry could not manage the shift to e-mobility without profits from diesel sales.
Read the article in German here.
US e-car pioneer Tesla is now worth 53 billion dollars on the stock market, overtaking domestic market leader General Motors for the first time, reports Thomas Jahn in business daily Handelsblatt. “Slowly, Tesla is appearing in German carmakers’ rear-view mirror. BMW has a market capitalisation of about 57 billion dollars, Daimler manages 76 billion dollars.”
Read the report in German here.
Find background in the CLEW factsheets Early e-car starter BMW plans new mobility sprint and Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world
Dutch sustainable energy group Eneco has teamed up with Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi to build Europe’s largest battery in the north of Germany, which will supply sustainable reserve capacity to the grid. “The battery system will be able to take over the role of primary reserve provider and, thus, forms a sustainable alternative to the backup supplied by coal- and gas-fired power plants,” according to a press release. The battery will have a capacity of over 50 megawatt-hours, or the average daily energy consumption of over 5,300 German households. Construction will begin this summer.
Find the press release in English here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet How can Germany keep the lights on in a renewable energy future?
Federal grid agency (BNetzA)
Germany’s federal grid agency (BNetzA) has launched the second round of PV auctions, under new rules agreed last year. A volume of 200 megawatts will be auctioned off, and bids must not exceed 8.91 cents/kWh.
Find the press release in German here.
For background on the changes, read the CLEW dossier The reform of the Renewable Energy Act.
German utility RWE is considering selling its majority stake in Hungary's second biggest power plant and related lignite mines, as the German utility reviews its struggling generation assets across Europe, report Tom Käckenhoff and Krisztina Than for Reuters. German rival EnBW also has a stake in the plant, which is fired by lignite and gas and has a capacity of 1,000 megawatts.
Read the report in English here.