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06 Sep 2023, 13:25
Sören Amelang

Germany’s Scholz announces charging infrastructure push in IAA mobility show opening address

Tagesschau

German chancellor Olaf Scholz used his opening address at the IAA mobility show in Munich to unveil a push to increase the number of rapid charging points in the country, reports Tagesschau. Praising the nation’s carmakers, he called the auto industry, which employs more than 750,000 people in Germany, a “central motor of the departure” towards a sustainable future which makes mobility "more attractive, more efficient and more beautiful". With reference to international rivals, particularly from China, Scholz said the competitiveness of Germany as a car country was "completely beyond question". He boasted that almost every second car in Europe and almost every fifth car in China is made by German companies. Scholz announced a law that would oblige petrol station operators to install rapid charging points for electric cars.

But despite Scholz highlighting Germany’s green credentials, environmentalists disrupted his opening tour of the show. Greenpeace activists climbed onto vehicles and furniture at the BMW exhibition stand with banners reading “The party is over”, while others used megaphones to shout that the car show was “not a celebration of the future, but a destruction of the future”. There was also a demonstration in favour of a rapid transition to sustainable mobility and a corresponding transformation of carmakers. A day before, climate activists had blocked roads in the Bavarian capital.

The IAA is one of the world’s most important auto industry events. Previously known as the Frankfurt auto show, the event rebranded to “IAA Mobility” in 2021 in the face of climate protests and declining interest from both industry and the public. European carmakers have been relatively slow in the transition to low emission cars, and experts say the show highlights a widening lead of Chinese competitors in electric cars.

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