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Utilities require subsidies for electric cars

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MUNICH / FRANKFURT. The German utilities pushing for government support for the electrical mobility, to secure their investment in the infrastructure. "We will need clarity is promoted as the electrical mobility, if we want to help the technology breakthrough," says Carolin Reichert, the energy company in the area RWE directs. "If there is no financial support in Germany, the car manufacturers to bring their models to the market in countries where they exist."

Energy companies such as RWE, Eon and Vattenfall have installed last year in selected regions such as Berlin or Munich, first charging stations. The development of a national network would be worth it for them but only if it were operated in the foreseeable future a significant number of electric cars in Germany.

As it looks now, it might be, however, that the first, although small series are sold abroad. In France, for example, there is a one-time bonus of EUR 5 000 per vehicle and a tax relief. Large subsidies is also available in the UK, Denmark and Portugal.

One million E-cars in 2020?

Germany, however, would indeed bring up to 2020 one million electric cars on the roads, but has not yet decided to support. It should be mentioned among others at a summit meeting on the subject of electric mobility in the chancellery in early May. As long as the energy companies do not build the necessary infrastructure, the market again for manufacturers uninteresting.

This is for suppliers to large sums. The Federal Government can achieve its goal, according to industry estimates are needed around three billion euros. 1.5 million charging stations could be funded with them. That would be a sufficient, if not also guarantee coverage. It is already included in the totals that will reduce the costs over the years through economies of scale and technical progress. The consulting firm McKinsey calculates the other hand, with five billion effort.

Only 2 000 to 4 000 Euro currently costs the connection of a Ladesäule to the distribution grid – the breaking of the surface and the laying of cables. These high costs would pass on to electricity suppliers happy customers: "The power supply of the charging stations could be carried over the network charges," says RWEManager Reichert.

Be the support mechanism for the electric car needs in their eyes, "simple and easy for consumers to understand. Therefore a one-time bonus makes sense." But the government hesitates commitments and refers to the tight budgetary situation.

Support received from the auto supplier industry. "It is clear that an incentive program for electric mobility and other alternative propulsion systems is necessary so that these vehicles can be imported in greater numbers in the market," said Matthias Wissmann VDA chief.

High subsidies in France

The German auto industry refers suspicious for months to France, where the state Renault PSA, and sweetened with low-interest loans for development, the development and state-owned enterprises will continue to purchase electric cars. Moreover, should in future be made mandatory and charging stations for electric cars in every new housing estate.

While competitors such as Renault and Mitsubishi want to come as early as next year, with small series on the market, VW or BMW not come before the end of 2013, with electric cars to market. Even this gap, critics suspect, slow the momentum of the German promotional efforts.

The VDA will not be pinned down on the amount and timing of future funding. The tools are not intended to be limited solely to electric cars. Finally, set Daimler both electric drives as well as fuel cells that can be fueled with natural gas or hydrogen. In addition, the auto industry plans to employ second-generation biofuels to win the diesel from plant waste.

Regardless of the possible promotion of electric cars ready BMW currently before important decisions for production. The Munich want to bring a whole new family of vehicles from 2014 to the market. The so-called mega city vehicles could be built in the U.S. or in Germany. The investment in new rolling stock splits BMW with the Wiesbaden-based chemical company SGL Develop carbon, the lightweight carbon bodies for the new vehicles will.

Teething problems

Cost: Worldwide, the car manufacturers present new models, although always with electric drive. For a mass market but they are still too expensive. This is due primarily to the high cost of batteries, an electric car at the moment still make about twice as expensive as one with a combustion engine. Large price differences will be offset by the desire of automobile manufacturers through grants.

Range: The battery technology is the key point for the market success of electric mobility. The current ones allow the use of electric cars for short to medium distances. First, the wager is therefore rather be seen in urban areas. The battery manufacturers do, however, significant progress in terms of both performance and cost.

Network: For a successful launch requires a powerful network of charging stations, so drivers can load their cars on the road. Even the loading time but are relatively long.