17 Aug 2017, 00:00
Julian Wettengel

Merkel stands by 2020 e-car goal / DHL unveils StreetScooter XL


Chancellor Angela Merkel stands by the German government’s goal to have one million electric vehicles on Germany’s roads by 2020, she said in an interview broadcast live on YouTube. “No, no, no, I have not given it up. […] I only said we have to do more, or we won’t easily achieve it”, Merkel told AlexiBexi, one of the four YouTube stars conducting the interview. Merkel also announced she would invite those municipalities that regularly exceed nitrogen oxide emission limits to a debate on 4 September on ways to make those cities clean mobility leaders, using the 500 million euro sustainable mobility fund for cities decided at the diesel summit on 2 August. This includes improving the charging infrastructure to encourage people to switch to electric vehicles, she said.

Watch the full video in German here.

Find background in the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

DHL / Ford

In an effort to expand its existing fleet of electric delivery vans, Deutsche Post DHL Group has teamed up with US carmaker Ford and unveiled a jointly manufactured, larger version of the e-van, the "StreetScooter WORK XL". “With this commitment, we are also underlining our claim of being the market leader in green logistics”, said Jürgen Gerdes, member of the Board of Management Post - eCommerce – Parcel, in a press release. Deutsche Post DHL plans to use the vans to support its urban parcel delivery service. The two companies plan to build 2,500 e-vans by the end of 2018, and say that the model could also be sold to third-party customers.

Find the DHL/Ford press release in English here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The cooperation between German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL and US carmaker Ford on an electric delivery vehicle can be described as an "inverted world", writes Helmut Bünder in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Deutsche Post DHL has supplied the technological innovations, and Ford produced the conventional hardware. "One of the world's largest automakers becomes the supplier for a startup that was founded only a few years ago", writes Bünder. The new van is simply the living proof of the auto industry's limitations, he adds.


Despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel “unexpectedly” signalling support for an eventual ban of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, it is unlikely she will actually push for an early phase-out, writes Zachary Shahan in an opinion piece for CleanTechnica. “I think Merkel is playing an aggressive card with her new line of commentary in order to put a little pressure on the automakers (and genuinely try to help them not get burned),” writes Shahan. However, he would “still be shocked” if the Chancellor actually signed onto a ban that would take effect before 2040.

Read the opinion piece in English here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany.

dpa / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary in the German environment ministry, said he expected the European Union to come forth with a proposal for a European quota for emission-free cars this autumn, reports news agency dpa in an article carried by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Specifics would still have to be discussed, but carmakers themselves are already planning to see 25 percent of their new car sales to be emission-free vehicles by 2025, according to Flasbarth. The quota would not be limited to electric vehicles, although in the end battery-powered cars would likely prevail, said Flasbarth.

Find the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany.

Frankfurter Rundschau

A 2030 end date for the internal combustion engine is technically not feasible, and such a ban would be the wrong approach to decarbonising transport by 2050, said independent transportation expert and ICCT member Axel Friedrich in an interview with Joachim Wille for Frankfurter Rundschau. “For instance, we don’t know where we’ll get the green power from, or the battery capacity – not to mention the question of resources”, said Friedrich. Strict CO₂ emission limits for vehicle fleets were the better way, and would automatically lead to a high share of e-cars or other emission-free vehicles on the roads, he argued.

Read the interview in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany.

Since the energy transition fundamentally changes the German energy industry, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) will introduce a new advanced training regulation for “certified energy industry business administrators”, BIBB said in a press release. The regulation will streamline current diverse trainings in order to facilitate career starts in industry.

Read the press release in German here

For background, read the CLEW article Germany’s vaunted vocational training programme strains to meet Energiewende’s demand for skilled workers and the factsheet How Germany’s Vocational Education and Training system works.

Spiegel Online

In light of the current debate surrounding diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is an interesting alternative to conventional car fuels, writes Michael Specht in an article for Spiegel Online. Cars powered by LPG emit less nitrogen oxides than either diesel or petrol cars, and would not fall under inner city driving bans, writes Specht. However, compared to petrol cars, LPG vehicles use 15-20 percent more fuel. Certain manufacturers are already focusing on natural gas-powered cars, although the tax advantages would expire in the near future, writes Specht. Some 450,000 LPG-fuelled cars are currently registered in Germany.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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