The newly formed governing coalition in Germany – dubbed the “traffic light” coalition has unveiled a stunning new target for electric vehicles that will require around two-thirds of all new vehicle sales to be fully electric over the next eight years.
After more than 10 weeks of negotiations, the left-leaning SDP (Social Democrats), the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) announced a deal to share government, with the focus on ambitious climate and energy policies, including transport.
As we report on our sister site RenewEconomy, the headline decisions include fast-tracking the exit of coal from the grid to 2030 from 2038, and boosting the renewable energy share by 2030 to 80 per cent from 65 per cent.
In transport, the new government to be led by the SDP’s Olaf Sholz, will aim to make Germany a leader in the market for e-mobility, and aim for a minimum 15 million fully electric passenger cars on German roads in 2030.
Germany currently has around one million electric vehicles on the road, and total vehicle sales of around three million a year. So to reach that target of 15 million, another 14 million EVs need to be sold in the next eight years, or nearly two million a year.
That compares with sales to date in 2021 of just over 300,000. One in every three cars sold in October was electric, partly due to supply shortages and production delays elsewhere, but this share will have to double in quick time.
The plan involves a “massive acceleration” in establishing a comprehensive charging infrastructure and fast-tracking vehicle standards from the Europe-wide target of CO2 neutral cars only by 2035. “Germany will have to get there earlier,” the new coalition agreement said.
The EV target is based largely on the policy that the SDP brought to the election. The Greens had advocated an outright ban on the sale of ICE (internal combustion engine) cars by 2030, and the FDP wanted no such ban, and the removal of speed limits and driving bans.
However, not all environmental NGOs are happy, with some – such as Friends of the Earth – questioning whether it was enough to help put the world on track to limit average global warming to 1.5°C.
“Incredibly, the car-lobby policies of the [conservative] CSU will be continued without interruption,” Environmental Action Germany said in a statement.
“Germany will remain the country for speeding, ever bigger SUV-city tanks and state-sponsored climate killer company cars. Even the subsidising of diesel cars will stay in place …. (there is) no speed limit, no clear end to combustion engines – quite the contrary.”