As the EU takes tougher action on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from vehicles, policies in Denmark, Germany and the UK are favouring the uptake of electric cars.
From 1990 to 2006, GHGs from transport increased by 28%. To counter this, the EU adopted legislation in April 2009 that requires the fleet average emissions for all new cars to be reduced to 130 g/km by 2015. One aim is to create incentives for the car industry to invest in new technologies. This regulation promotes eco-innovation and takes into account future technological developments by providing the manufacturers with a target.
Member States are also introducing national policies to reduce emissions from road vehicles:
The German Federal Government adopted a National Electromobility Development Plan in August 2009. It wants one million electric vehicles on the nation’s roads by 2020. Over the next decade, Germany hopes to see progress on battery technology, grid integration and the electric vehicles market.
The plan follows the government’s second economic stimulus package, which allocated €500 million for R&D into sustainable mobility. Furthermore, the government will collaborate with municipalities on the public infrastructure necessary to support electromobility.
Denmark is committed to developing a national network of battery-switching stations for electric cars. Its 2008 green transport plan offers a tax exemption for electric cars until 2012, giving consumers a clear financial incentive to switch to electric vehicles.
This exemption was a decisive factor in attracting electric car specialist Better Place. Together with Danish national energy company DONG, Better Place established the Project Better Place electric car scheme in 2008. Under this project, a national infrastructure of battery-switching stations will be built by 2011.
Providing infrastructure for electric car use is also a key element of the UK’s April 2009 vision to promote ultra-low carbon transport. This promotes infrastructure and technology development, and commits the government to providing financial incentives for consumers to buy electric cars.
From 2011 onwards, between €2 000 and €5 500 will be provided to those buying their first electric or plug-in hybrid car. This incentive is part of more than €430 million committed by the government to supporting ultra-low emission vehicles.
‘Reducing CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles’ (DG Environment):
‘Federal Cabinet: Germany to become lead market for electromobility’ (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology press release):
German Federal Government’s National Electromobility Development Plan:
‘Danish municipalities in collaboration deal with Project Better Place’ (Denmark government website):
‘Government to help motorists and industry get on the low carbon road’ (UK Department for Transport press release):