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Europe’s Leading Position at Risk Due to Indecisiveness Concerning E-Mobility


The success of the electric car pioneer Tesla shows that the switch in the direction of electric cars is irreversible. Nevertheless, the efforts of European automotive powers like Germany to promote e-mobility are poor, as a new study by Interconnection Consulting shows. The reason is not only the reluctance of enforcement by the European automobile industry and the governments, but also the increased outsourcing if the technological leadership away from Europe.

Germany Sets Unambitious Goals

As the electro-mobility develops, governments around the globe set very different goals and targets. The German governments goals are rather poor, both on a global and European scale. By 2020, the German government wants to have one million e-cars on the road and even this, in comparison to other international governments, low target will hardly be reached according to Chancellor Angela Merkel. Unlike Germany, France has set a target of 2 million electric cars by 2020 – double the amount in Germany. The lack of German ambition to promote E-Mobility will no doubt lead to political and industrial stagnation. "Especially the European automotive industry is currently on a challenging path to implement e-mobility because it still needs to increase the acceptance of the hybrid technology," explains Neva Rukonic, author of the study. In 2016, only 24,610 new registrations were made for electric vehicles, representing a share of 1.1%. By comparison, the share in Sweden was 3.8%, while Norway was the worlds top runner up in this discipline with a high 25.8% share.

The Future Lies in China

The Chinese government sees the future of the Chinese auto industry in electro-mobility, continuously working on becoming the world market leader in e-cars using state incentives and market liberalization. By 2020 China plans to have almost 12 times more E-cars on the roads (11.9 million) than Germany. With a share of 43% in world E-Car production (870,000) China is already at the world top. Since last year, more than 650,000 electric vehicles have been driving on Chinese roads. In addition, 25% of the worlds battery cells and 37% of global e-motor production are located in China. Demand is also growing in the Middle East. The German supplier industry will have to rethink its position completely in order to remain competitive on the world market. Cars are using more advanced technology (self-running software, batteries) and Europe is lagging behind. Additionally, German car supplier companies are among the top 5 in world: "Bosch, Continental and ZF Friedrichshafen all have their core areas in suspension and engine systems, which could eventually lead to a loss of market shares to Asian suppliers," Rukonic says.

The Netherlands Has the Densest Network of Loading Stations

An important aspect for the growth of e-mobility is access to charging stations. With one charging station for every sixth e-car, the Netherlands has the most charging stations as far as the e-car stock is concerned. In China, there is one charging stations are for every eighth car. However, China has the highest share of fast-chargers being the only country where the number of fast-charging stations is higher than the number of slow-charging stations. With the varying charging time between 30 minutes and 14 hours investment in the charging infrastructure can make all the difference. The EU is trying to develop the necessary infrastructure for e-cars in Europe by passing new regulations. From 2019 onwards, every newly built or renovated house in Europe must be equipped with an electrical charging station and from 2013, 10% of all parking spaces in new buildings in the EU will be equipped with charging stations.

2017-10-25 14:09:47

Copyright: Interconnection, Publication free of charge for coverage regarding the study and InterConnection Consulting
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