German transport minister reverses from 15 million electric vehicles goal


German transport minister reverses from 15 million electric vehicles goal. BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s goal to put 15 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030 includes fully electric and hybrid vehicles, the transport minister said on Monday, in a withdrawal of a promise in the coalition government’s deal at the end of the from last year.

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FILE PHOTO: General secretary of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) Volker Wissing arrives for an exploratory talks, in Berlin

“We want electric vehicles. Of course, hybrids also contribute to this,” Volker Wissing of the Liberal Democrat party told a conference organized by the Handelsblatt newspaper, in an indication of friction over the issue between the Greens and other parties.

The coalition agreement published last November said the new government intended to target “at least 15 million fully electric passenger vehicles by 2030”.

This was a step forward from the previous administration’s goal of 14 million electric vehicles by then, of which at least ten million would be fully electric.

Hybrid vehicles, seen by some as a transitional product as companies and governments build the infrastructure for large-scale use of fully electric cars, have been criticized by environmental groups for being at least as harmful as their hybrid counterparts. fossil fuels due to infrequent loading. and their weight, which means they consume more fuel.

About half of the just over a million electric vehicles on German roads so far are hybrids, with the other half fully electric, says the KBA car authority.

“We agreed on a clear target in the coalition deal of at least 15 million all-electric passenger vehicles by 2030,” Green MP and transport policy expert Stefan Gelbhaar told Reuters, adding that it was crucial to reducing emissions.

“I am sure that Transport Minister Volker Wissing will make clear and rapid progress here.”

Touching on another troubling issue, Wissing was also careful in his comments to the Handelsblatt not to rule out the possibility of powering cars with combustion engines on synthetic fuels, a policy his party supports but other coalition members do not.

E-fuels, made by combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide drawn from the atmosphere, provide an environmentally friendly means of powering combustion-engined cars, but producing them is expensive and requires large amounts of renewable energy to make them carbon neutral.

In an interview with Der Spiegel last week, Wissing had said that e-fuels were in short supply and therefore should only be used for industries such as shipping and aviation.

Following criticism from Germany’s automobile association, which is among those that say e-fuels should not be ruled out, Wissing told Handelsblatt on Monday that “technological openness” was paramount, and e-fuels can be used for heavy-duty vehicles.