The road to the electric future
“The German automotive industry is the backbone of the economy,” says Christian Hochfeld, Executive Director of the Agora Verkehrswende, an automotive development thinktank based in Berlin. As a leader in auto sector innovation, Germany is gearing up for the electric future. Last year Chancellor Angela Merkel set the goal to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020 – an ambitious goal which even the Chancellor herself has admitted may not be feasible. But entrepreneurs, innovators and members of the already well-established auto-sector have accepted this as a challenge. Powered by additional charging sites and improving products, this year Germany will become the world’s third-largest market for plug-in hybrids and electric cars, surpassing current European leader Norway.
The road towards the electric future can be witnessed in Berlin where start-up Ubitricity is developing MobileCharging and slow-charging EV points that can be incorporated in the urban infrastructure, into lamp posts for example. Elsewhere, a joint-venture created by BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen Group, called IONITY is developing 400 fast-charging stations across Europe, showing that the road to the electric future comes hand in hand with vision, entrepreneurship and innovation.