Fast-track EV switch, German businesses tell government

A group of Germany’s leading businesses has urged policy-makers in the country to fast-track a move towards electric vehicles (EVs).

German members of the global business initiative EV100, which include businesses such as Metro AG, E.ON, and Ikea outlet owners Ingka Group, have urged the country’s government to make a bigger push towards EV use.

The call comes as Germany is exploring ways to reduce its emissions from transport as it finalises its forthcoming Climate Action Law.

EV100 is just one global business initiative set up by the Climate Group, the international non-profit committed to speeding up corporate climate action.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group, said: ‘Electric vehicles are a crucial technology for achieving national climate targets while cleaning up the dirty air in our cities.

‘Going electric helps companies to lower their emissions and boost long-term competitiveness – and with businesses buying two thirds of new vehicles in Europe, huge market progress can be made well before 2030.

‘Policy makers should listen to growing demand and set an ambitious timeline for switching to EVs nationwide – helping Germany to retain its global leadership in this rapidly evolving sector.’

Part of Germany’s Climate Action Law will enshrine recommendations made by the NPM, the country’s mobility commission, that it reduces its transport emissions by 40-42% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Proponents of EVs have argued that this presents a prime opportunity for the German government to boost the roll-out of EVs.

The German members of EV100 state that encouraging the take-up of EVs will boost air quality, assist with climate change and help Germany maintain its reputation as a global car supplier.

Earlier this month the German finance minister Olaf Scholz announced plans to extend tax incentives for electric company cars, in the hope that this will boost EV sales.

E.ON has already switched its entire fleet to electric cars, and it is now pushing the German government to do even more to encourage EV take-up.

Andreas Pfeiffer, global head of domain e-mobility at E.ON, said: ‘The German government has strongly supported the development of e-mobility in recent years.

‘Now government and industry should work closely together to achieve a real energy transition, including the transport sector.

‘We should consider controlling measures such as a CO2 price as well as tax incentives for companies that want to convert their vehicle fleets to electric mobility.’

Over 12 countries have already pledged to phase out sales of fossil-fuelled vehicles and are slowly encouraging the move towards the use of EVs.

A study by the International Council for Clean Transportation earlier this year found that EVs are already cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel-fuelled cars in five European countries.

Governments are increasingly offering EV drivers benefits such as lower taxes, lower fuel prices and higher subsidies to encourage vehicle owners to make the switch, the study found.