HIKOB Chronicles

Germany prepares its breakaway in the European race for electromobility.

According to the AVERE, 150,000 new registrations were issued in Europe in 2017, bringing to more than 500,000 the number of electric vehicles circulating in Europe. The European market for electric vehicles has increased by 43.9% compared to 2016.

Autonomy, charging time, charging infrastructure network, acquisition price, environmental impact, in Europe, the electric vehicle lifts one by one the brakes to its expansion. Supported by the European governments, it wins the favor of manufacturers and the heart of electric car drivers.

Germany, the story of a breakneck rise

Leading sales in 2017, Norway with 33,791 new registrations, followed by France with 30,921 new registrations. In this race, Germany accelerates in the turn at the end of 2017 and doubles France with, in February 2018, 2,546 lithium-ion battery vehicles registered against 2,071 in France. It keeps the advantage with 3,792 electric vehicles registered in the record month of March 2018, a growth of 73.1% compared to February 2018. (Source : Electrive )

If we believe the survey, published on February 17, 2018, in the specialized magazine Automobilwoche, the German market for electric vehicles is even under pressure. It seems that customers have to wait from 6 to 7 months for a Peugeot, about ten months for a Nissan Leaf, 1 year for a Hyundai Ioniq Elektro and be patient until 2019 for a Smart. (Source : Les Furets)

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, all the conditions are in place for Germany to become the world’s third largest market for electric cars, behind China and the United States, and ahead of Norway and France, which until now have been European champions of electric mobility.

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A well-prepared breakaway

Guillaume Crunelle of Deloitte is forecasting that in 2030, “zero emission vehicles will represent, in our opinion, at least 30% of the automotive market in Germany” (Source : Les Furets)

Incentives, subsidies, tax exemption, “charging infrastructure” program, since 2016, Germany is implementing a large national plan to develop the use of the electric car.

To put the brakes on the price, two measures since January 2016:

  • An environmental bonus of up to € 4,000 for the purchase of an electric vehicle and € 3,000 on a plug-in hybrid with retroactive effect from January 1, 2016. These acquisition aids are awarded on a first-come, first-served basic. until full use of funds available or arrival at the deadline of the program, set for June 30, 2019.
  • Eligible vehicle owners are exempt from the car tax for 10 years.

In addition, employees who recharge their electric vehicles at work will not have to declare the amount of the recharge as a salary advantage. (Source : AVERE)

At the same time, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig confirmed the possibility for local authorities to ban the circulation of the most polluting diesel vehicles. 70 cities and about 12 million cars would be affected by this measure that could apply from early 2019. (Source : AVERE)

In correlation and according to an analysis published in Frankfurt on March 12, 2018 by the firm EY, the German car manufacturers are leading investments in electric vehicles. The 16 largest global automotive groups reached 3.2 billion euros in investment in Germany, far exceeding those for China (990 million euros), the United States (887 million euros) and France (110 million euros). The study indicates that German brands may swiftly join the ranks with the arrival of several models in 2019 and 2020.(Source : EY)

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The challenge of a dense and accessible "charging station network"

Since 1 March 2017, private investors, cities and communities of municipalities have benefited from a financing program of nearly 300 million euros to develop a network of charging stations throughout Germany.

5,000 fast charging stations worth € 200 million and 10,000 standard charging stations for € 100 million are expected to be funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur, BMVI).  (Source : OFATE)

At the same time, to counter Tesla superchargers and Ford, the German automotive Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler have just created the company “IONITY”. The consortium is thus promising an EV charging station every 120 km on the German motorways “Autobahn”.

In the same vein, following the partnership between the energy company EnBW and the motorway company Tank & Rast, 1,000 fast charging stations for electric vehicles should mesh Germany in 2020. (Source : EnBW)

With an exponential number of electric and hybrid cars on the roads, the access to charging stations issue is becoming crucial. Therefore, when we talk about the issue of accessibility we can not conceal the brake that represents the ICE-ing (misuse of spaces dedicated to the charging of electric and hybrid vehicles).

For the electric car drivers the challenge is to continue its course, for the professional, it is about the durability of its activity and for the operator of the network of charging stations, it is about ensuring its service and making profit from the deployed terminals.

Germany does not seem to have wondered about the subject yet, in France however, more than 2000 terminals are equipped with wireless systems for the monitoring of parking spaces dedicated to charging. They provide in real time, effective availability information that allows operators to control the proper use of dedicated charging places to ensure the profitability of their network and provide reliable availability information to users (the charging station is available and accessible place). (Source : AVEM)

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The race is not played on the European scale but on the world. Moreover, to reach the pole position Europe unites and is organized around the issue of batteries. For the European Commission, batteries are a “key factor” in the flagship project to create an “Energy Union”. The so-called “Airbus battery” project, referring to the situation of the aviation industry in 1960, is considered a major topic that would allow Europe to be less dependent on the five Asian suppliers who hold a virtual monopoly, for the moment.

Case to follow …

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