On 17 May 2011, the Associations of the Third-Party-Organisations VDE e.V. and VdTÜV e.V. had invited Brussels decision-makers and other stakeholders to a dialogue on eMobility and the possibilities and challenges on the way towards implementing it a ‘mainstream’ way of transportation. The conference took place at the Representation of the State Baden-Württemberg to the European Union in Brussels, close to the European Parliament and the other institutions.
Guest speakers included Martin David Ledwon (National Platform for Electric Mobility, Siemens AG), Dr. Hans Heinz Zimmer (CEO, VDE e.V.), Dr Armin Pfoh
(VdTÜV e.V., Vice President Corporate Innovation Management, TÜV SÜD AG), Dr Franz Xaver Söldner (EU-Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport), Dr Hartmut Kühne (Federal Ministry of Economics and
Technology, Head of Division E-mobility, Eco-innovation).
Germany envisages the target of having one million e-vehicles on the roads until 2020. Would this be feasible?
In general, there was no controversy about the need to move away from the conventional combustion engine for environmental and resource reasons. The issue Is high on the political agenda, for instance the European White Paper on Transport, released by the European Commission beginning of 2011, dedicates a chapter to e-mobility. For the EU Green Cars Initiative a budget of around 5 bn EUR has been allocated.
Talking about incentives Germany will now exempt users of e-vehicles for 10 years from paying taxes (instead of 5 years in current practice).
When it comes to the technologies to be used, all representatives agreed that it is not adequate and probably to early to prioritize one of them. Also, there was agreement that a mix of energy sources is needed (biofuels, biogas, electricity).
Dr Zimmer explained that cars that need to be plugged in to be reloaded should then fall under the Low Voltage Directive (LVD). This is an issue that still needs to be discussed.
Dr. Pfoh mentioned the safety of e-vehicles, especially of the battery. The related risks are still relatively unknown and need to be evaluated, for which skilled persons would also be needed in the garages. By assessing and certifying the safety of the new generation vehicles, the TIC sector becomes an important partner and mediator for propelling the new e-mobility technologies and making them accepted by the broad range of citizens.
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