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04 Nov 2019, 14:05
Benjamin Wehrmann

Merkel promises e-car charging infrastructure boost ahead of meeting with industry

Clean Energy Wire

Expanding Germany's e-car charging infrastructure and more support for electric mobility options will be key issues at a meeting between Germany's government and representatives of the country's car industry on 4 November. "We want to create one million charging points by 2030," Merkel said in a video podcast, thereby confirming an aim set in Germany's Climate Action Programme 2030. She said the car industry will be contributing to the infrastructure scale-up and reiterated that electric mobility will be the government's central technology for a transition in automobile transport. "But we want to remain open to all technologies, meaning that also hydrogen will play a special role," the chancellor said. Merkel added that autonomous cars would also be discussed at the meeting, meaning that "humans increasingly are going to play a subordinate role in driving”.  
Environmental NGO Greenpeace criticised the government's reliance on technology support to curb emissions in the transport sector. "More charging points only help e-mobility and climate action if they are accompanied by clear political regulation for climate-friendly mobility," said the organisation's transport expert Benjamin Stephan. "Only a fixed end-date for diesel and gasoline engines gives the industry a clear perspective for championing the transport transition with the necessary speed."

Reducing emissions in the transport sector is seen as one of the biggest challenges in Germany's energy transition, as there has been almost no reduction at all since 1990 and hundreds of thousands of jobs in the country are linked to the car industry. Merkel has called changing the transport sector's course "a herculean task". However, according to a survey published by energy industry lobby group BDEW, most citizens say that the easiest way to save CO2 is by cutting it in transport and industry.

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