In a conference on the future of electric transportation, the German government has detailed a major plan to put one million electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the country’s roads within the next 11 years.


The sweeping plan includes a large amount of funding for advanced battery development, investment in an electric car charging infrastructure, and tax credits for the adoption of electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Conceived by four separate German agencies — the departments of Economics, Transport, Environment, and Education/Research — the plan is on track to be signed into actual law at the beginning of the next German legislative session.

As reported by Green Car Congress, Germany’s stated goals are to become a leader in electric car technology, become an energy independent nation, and provide all of the electricity needed for charging the vehicles from “renewable sources.”

German auto manufacturers have been developing electric and plug-in hybrids over the last several years. Mini is the first German auto manufacturer to come to market with an electric car, the Mini E, but both Daimler (electric Smart car) and VW (Golf Twin Drive) have electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle prototypes as well.

If Germany’s succcessful in this goal, they’ll certainly be an electric car force to be reckoned with. However, as I’ve said before, and using Mini’s attitude towards electric vehicle development as a guide, the Germans will have to be more open with electric powertrain development if they want to be dominant in future worldwide electric car markets.

Photo Credit: respres‘s Flickr photostream under a Creative Commons License.

Source: Green Car Congress