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02 Aug 2021, 12:12
Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Germany reaches one-million electric vehicles target with half a year delay

Clean Energy Wire

Germany has reached its target of one million registered battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, said the government in a press release. This means the country has reached its 2020-goal around about half a year later than originally planned. Fifty-four percent of the registered electric vehicles are battery-electric, 46 percent plug-in hybrids, said the government. “Our transport will be irreversibly converted to renewable energies,” said economy minister Peter Altmaier and called reaching the target a “decisive milestone”. He said the government would prolong the increased buyer’s premium programme for the purchase of a new e-car until 2025. Environment minister Svenja Schulze said 60 percent of greenhouse gas emissions of the transport sector come from passenger cars. “One million e-cars represent millions of times fewer CO2 emissions in traffic,” she said.

Altmaier announced in July the target would be reached that month. Germany has been struggling to lower emissions in the transport sector, which have remained broadly stable for decades, as gains from more efficient engines have been eaten up by heavier cars. Currently, there are around 48 million cars on Germany’s roads. The take-up of electric vehicles has been slow in the country in comparison to many other markets. But thanks to government incentives, registrations have picked up sharply since last year. Environmental activists have regularly criticised the inclusion of and subsidies for plug-in hybrids, because many are rarely driven in electric mode. Experts have called on the government to aim to have around 14 million e-cars on the road by 2030.

One in six purely-electric cars produced worldwide in the second quarter of 2021 came from German carmakers, while the global market is still dominated by competitors from the U.S. and China, according to a study by consultancy PwC. German manufacturers increased their share in fully electric cars to 17 percent between April and July this year and to 50 percent in plug-in-hybrid vehicles, the consultancy said. China continued to be the biggest market for electric cars, corresponding to 58 percent of all sales in the second quarter, PwC said. In the first half of the year, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler together sold 246,000 e-cars and 370,000 plug-in-hybrids, wrote dpa.

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