Driving with electricity
The end of the oil age has begun.
Cars are Germany’s most important export product. The automotive industry employs over 700,000 people, making it one of the biggest employers in the country. At the same time, the transport sector uses large amounts of energy, around a third of Germany’s final energy consumption. This is why the German Government is boosting its efforts to reduce consumption.
There have already been positive results. For example, the number of kilometres covered by freight and passenger travel per year roughly doubled between 1990 and 2017, but energy consumption only rose by nine percent during the same period.
In order to save even more energy, Germany is developing efficient vehicle technologies and working on electric vehicles with a focus on cars, light delivery vehicles, local public transport vehicles and motorcycles. To this end, the German Government is promoting market and technology development via a large number of programmes.
Fuel cell vehicles are regarded as an important addition to battery electric vehicles. Hydrogen and fuel cell projects will receive EUR 1.65 billion in state funding by 2019. Hydrogen hybrid buses are already being used in public transport in several large German cities.
In addition to climate-friendly drive systems, new transport concepts such as car, bike and e-scooter sharing are becoming increasingly popular. Car sharing reduces the amount of traffic on the roads and lowers emissions. Digital solutions that make transport more efficient and a switch to cycling are also helping. More than 2.1 million users are currently registered across 150 car sharing providers in Germany.
To ensure that the Energiewende is as successful in the transport sector as elsewhere, changes are needed in many areas of daily life, politics and the economy. The process needs time if transport is to become more sustainable without limiting mobility for citizens.