Germany wants to become the lead market for electromobility
The path to e-mobility is not as simple as this symbolic representation of an electric car. Nevertheless, the development there is irreversible
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Electromobility is more than just the electric car and opens up new markets. The global race has begun, and Germany is part of it.
E.Electromobility is currently a lively playground, but it is about nothing less than the construction of future living environments. Because not only electric cars come under e-mobility, but also “smart grids”. This is used to describe “intelligent power grids” that implement the communicative networking and control of power generators, storage systems, electrical consumers and network operating resources. In the long term, e-vehicles should not only be able to draw energy from the grid, but also feed it in and function as temporary storage. "The electric car is part of the smart grid concept," says Andreas Mehlhorn, who is responsible for mobility consulting at Siemens AG in Berlin.
Which vehicles will we be traveling with? What will tomorrow’s traffic look like? How do our cities work? How do you bring the electricity to the consumer? Questions upon questions that boardrooms, think tanks, laboratories and workshops are feverishly looking for answers to. This shows that they can be found quickly now and then: a few days ago, an electric car with a lithium-metal-polymer-based battery drove the 605 kilometers from Munich to Berlin for the first time – without having to recharge on the way.
The project was carried out by the Berlin technology company DBM Energy and the energy provider lekker Energie and proves that long-distance journeys with electric vehicles are absolutely possible in the medium term. The car, a converted A2, can be seen at the VDE congress in Leipzig.
Such examples also prove that sustainable management has changed from niche thinking to a general necessity. Because not only are fossil fuels finite. They also contribute significantly to global warming through their CO2 emissions. Consequently, the future should belong to the environmentally friendly regenerative energy sources sun, wind and water.
Driving with electricity-powered cars only makes sense if the electricity is generated from this renewable, clean energy. This is proven by studies by the Federal Environment Ministry, among other things: electric cars with additional hybrid engines have an average of 106 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer. According to the Federal Motor Vehicle Office, pure combustion engine models are 170 grams, if you include the upstream chain (e.g. raw material extraction, processing or transport), even 201 grams. Electric cars powered by renewable energies emit five grams, which result exclusively from the upstream chain.
E-mobility is also bringing serious changes to the global economy. “E-mobility is not an area that is being developed further. Here is fundamentally redesigned. The cards will be reshuffled, there will be new players, ”says Jochen Kreusel from AAB Mannheim and member of the VDE Presidium. "Green, sustainable technologies are the drivers when it comes to the future portfolio of companies that want to get involved," adds Andreas Mehlhorn.
When industrial society is transformed, new market and business models open up and rigid industry barriers break down. But anyone who wants to be there also knows that you have to get out of the starting blocks quickly. The starting shot has already been fired, and in view of the dynamism in this area, it will soon be impossible to catch up. The economic wisdom of the competition that stimulates business has probably never been more valid than it is today.
In any case, Germany wants to be at the forefront, to score points with its traditional strengths in the technological area, in order to be able to assert itself in the race with nations like the USA and the new economic giant China. For example, Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging industry to accelerate the development of e-vehicles.
If she has her way, a million electric vehicles will be rolling on German roads by 2020. In contrast to countries such as Great Britain, France, Japan, China or India, however, the federal government does not want to lure potential buyers of electric cars with cash grants. "We see the development still at the beginning and therefore prefer to invest in research", explains Hartmut Kuhne, head of the department "Environmental Innovations, Electromobility" at the Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWi).
The “phase of market activation” has been funded by the federal government since the “National Electromobility Development Plan” was adopted in 2009 with a total of 500 million euros for research and development projects. A “National Electromobility Platform”, which is divided into seven working groups, has also existed since May 2010. At the end of 2010, it is due to present an interim report. Eight model regions for testing electromobility have been set up. 2800 vehicles and around 2500 charging points are tested for their suitability for everyday use.
Accordingly, Kuhne formulates the German ambitions clearly: “We not only want to become a lead market, but also a lead provider for electromobility. That applies to the entire value chain. "E-mobiles are much more than cars:" They generate a new value chain. "
According to Kuhne, Germany is well positioned in basic research, but investments in cell research, which is essential for battery construction, should be increased. "If that doesn’t happen, a significant part of the value chain is lost."
For example to the USA or China. There, the central government has set five billion euros for e-mobility research and, above all, for the promotion of purchase incentives in the new five-year plan that will apply from 2011. 500,000 electric cars are expected to be on the road in China as early as 2012.
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