Interview with Prof. Dr. Henning Kagermann
Professor Kagermann, what contribution can electromobility make to limiting global warming?
Electromobility offers clear advantages for the climate, environment and life in urban areas – especially lower CO₂ emissions, zero local emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, and less noise pollution. Electric vehicles are cleaner and quieter.
Where does Germany stand with respect to electromobility compared with other countries?
Much has been achieved in the last few years. Germany is a leading international supplier for electromobility. Our car manufacturers have achieved a comparable market share for their electric cars as for their conventional cars in all markets, with the exception of China which is a special case. Every third patent for electromobility worldwide is held by Germany.
Yet it was nevertheless necessary to push back the deadline for achieving 1 million e-cars on the streets of Germany. What has to happen so that Germany can achieve its e-mobility targets?
An appropriate charging infrastructure to meet the demand, suitable framework conditions, incentives and attractive vehicles must all go hand in hand to enable e-mobility to quickly break though on a large scale. The funding packages for the expansion of the charging infrastructure are already beginning to bear fruit. Just within the scope of the funding programmes offered by the German government, it was possible to triple the number of normal charging points and achieve almost a tenfold increase in quick-charging points by the end of 2018.
What challenges still need to be overcome?
We need to ensure that we don’t let up in our efforts so that we can maintain the highly dynamic growth of the market. Local authorities should ensure all users of e-cars are able to take advantage of the benefits offered by the Electric Mobility Act. In addition, the environmental bonus should be retained until the target of 1 million electric cars on German streets is achieved. This should be accompanied by further funding measures to expand the charging infrastructure and by reforms to tenancy law and property rights, so that the number of public and private charging points can grow in line with the number of e-cars.
What do you expect from the energy supply companies in the further expansion of e-mobility?
As the number of electric cars increases, they will become an important control variable for the energy sector. The demand for charging infrastructure that is fit for the future will then grow steadily. This will place new demands on the power distribution grids which can be countered by the local expansion of the energy grid and the use of smart load management. It is already necessary today to build a comprehensive, intelligently networked and controllable charging infrastructure across the country to ensure that integration into the grid remains sustainable and cost-efficient.