03 Dec 2014
Kerstine Appunn Sven Egenter

In the media: Electric cars, worries about E.ON's nuclear liabilities

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) / NPE

“Extraordinary write-downs for electric cars demanded”

The National Platform for Electromobility (NPE) suggested in a progress report that achieving scale in the number of  electric vehicles on the road would require government action. If no further measures were introduced, only 500,000 instead of the envisaged 1 million electric cars will be underway in 2020, the Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung writes, quoting the report’s authors. The NPE in particular demands an extraordinary write-down for companies who buy e-cars, a scheme that would cost Germany 200 million euros per year, the paper says. Additionally, the NPE suggests boosting research and development of e-car technology by an extra 360 million euros more every year. With its 4,800 charging stations for cars, Germany has a mediocre ranking in international comparison.

See the NPE report in German here.


Die Welt

“Why electric vehicles are not successful in Germany”

The number of electric cars in Germany is far lower than expected, but Chancellor Angela Merkel remains confident that one million e-cars will be on the streets by 2020, Nikolaus Doll writes in Die Welt. Germany not only wants to become a leading manufacturer of e-cars worldwide, but it also wants to be a leading market, so it is important that battery production gains ground, the author quotes the head of trade union IG-Metall as saying. At least the German car industry has done its homework, Doll writes. After a weak start, it will present 17 different e-car models by the end of the year, adding another 12 next year.

Read the article in German here.


Süddeutsche Zeitung / Frankfurter Rundschau

"On the run"

E.ON’s move to split off its conventional power generation business came as surprise to many politicians and  industry, triggering concerns that the group ultimately wants to offload its liabilities from decommissioning nuclear power plants, write Claus Hulverscheidt and Karl-Heinz Büschemann in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Experts in Germany wonder if the money the utilities have put aside to pay for the decommissioning,  part of Germany's exit from nuclear power, will be enough, they say.

The Frankfurter Rundschau also has an article about politicians’ concerns after E.ON’s move. Thorsten Knuf writes that Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, as well as Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks have rejected the notion that taxpayers will have to foot the bill.



„E.ON’s successful coup“

E.ON has chosen a wise strategy by splitting off their conventional power production, writes Claudia Kemfert, head of the department Energy, Transportation and Environment at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), in an online opinion piece in Capital. The economic potential from the energy transition is “gigantic” globally, she says. Fears that the group just wanted to create a “bad bank” of unprofitable assets are “overblown,” Kemfert says, because some conventional forms of power generation such as gas could remain attractive and the company has committed to its financial obligations from retiring nuclear plants.
Overall, E.ON’s announcement provides a strong signal well beyond Germany’s border, Kemfert says.

Read the opinion piece in German here.


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