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Major Developments in 2020

New Registrations

In 2020 E-mobility in Germany gained greater acceptance than ever before, despite a roughly 20% drop in vehicle registration figures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alternative drives (battery electric, hybrid, plug-in, fuel cell, gas, hydrogen) claimed around a quarter of all new registrations. The number of newly registered passenger cars with purely electric drivetrains increased significantly, 206%, compared with the previous year.

Changing Policy

The ‘environmental bonus’, a purchase premium for environmentally friendly electric vehicles has been significantly increased in 2020. First, in spring, up to 3,000 Euro was available from the Federal Government for a BEV, with a net list price of less than 40,000 Euro. This is paid when the manufacturer reduces the net list price by the same amount. Then in June, the Federal Government added the innovation premium, which doubled the federal share while the manufacturer’s share remains unchanged.

Emissions Reductions

2020 saw record declines in CO2 emissions and coal-fired power generation in Germany. Greenhouse gas emissions were lower by 8.7% in 2020 compared to 2019. This is a 40.8% decrease since 1990. A good third of the reductions are due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic response, mainly in the transport and energy sectors. The largest reduction in emissions was recorded in the energy sector (total emissions: 221 million metric tons). The largest share of this positive development was attributable to the decline in emissions from lignite-fired power generation. At 146 million metric tons of CO2, greenhouse gas emissions from transport are 19 million metric tons lower than in the previous year (down 11.4%). The main part of this reduction is due to the fact that fewer cars were driven during the first lockdown, especially on long routes. A smaller part of the reduction, around 2 million metric tons, is attributable to lower CO2 emissions from new passenger cars, partly due to the increase in new registrations of electric cars, and to more biofuels as a result of the higher blending rate.

Battery Development

Germany is working closely with other EU member states to develop battery cell production. The joint battery innovations and investments will be supported by 12 European member states within two IPCEI-projects (“Important Project of Common European Interest”) in which 15 German companies are also involved. Five German projects on battery cell production have received their grant notification or started the project in 2020 under the first IPCEI, the so-called "IPCEI on Batteries".


Support of electric mobility concepts in 2021

Starting in March 2021, municipalities, local authorities and, for the first time, commercial companies can apply for funding for electric mobility concepts. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is thus supporting the development of electric vehicle fleets and their charging infrastructure.

A new policy to roll out public fast-charging infrastructure

Early 2021, the Federal Cabinet approved the bill for the provision of a nationwide fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (Schnellladegesetz / Fast Charging Act). With this, the Government is creating the legal basis for the planned European-wide tender for the development of a public fast charging network with 1,000 locations.
Funding programmes so far have shown to be not sufficient on their own to ensure that the infrastructure is developed quickly, reliably, in line with demand, across the board and in a consumer-friendly manner - especially with regard to locations that are less frequently visited or are seasonal location (e.g. during vacation periods). The federal government intends to ensure the infrastructure development through long-term contracts with operators. HPC (High Power Charging) charging infrastructure with a capacity per charging point of at least 150 kW is to be put out to tender, ensuring fast charging for medium- and long-distance mobility. The fast-charging act is expected to be passed Bundestag/Federal Council in spring 2021. A volume of around 2 billion euros is earmarked for the development of the fast-charging infrastructure.