BERLIN, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Martin Schulz,chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany, has called for the introduction of a binding quota for electric cars across Europe in a position paper released to the press.
The Five Point Plan for the future of the German automotive industry outlines proposals to encourage a more rapid transition towards electric mobility with quotas, as well as tougher rules for the monitoring of emissions levels. "With a binding European E-mobility quota, we will substantially raise the share of electric vehicles", the position paper reads.
The plan further urges the German automotive industry to invest more in domestic battery and cell production to break their reliance on foreign producers.
Brigitte Zypries, German Minister for Economics, supports her party leader's demand for an electric car quota on Friday and reiterated her concern that Germany's most successful industry was at a turning point in history.
"As long as the [the industry] succeeds in offering us clean, reliable and sustainable mobility, I have no fears that Germany will lose its status as the world's foremost car manufacturer. "
The minister emphasized the importance of values such as innovation and quality for the global brand "Made in Germany". Zypries also supports Schulz' proposal to invest greater government resources in preventing attempts at industry manipulation, by conducting vehicle type approval and vehicle control procedures separately for example.
Schulz' Five Point Plan also underscores the importance of finding an adequate response to ongoing "dieselgate" and the "cartel" scandal involving the German automotive industry. "This is about more than one million jobs in our country. It is about the employees and their families, as well as the technological leadership, credibility and sustainability of Germany as an industrial center. "
"We will significantly increase the pressure on the industry," Schulz told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. He lamented that carmakers had gotten off too easy at the recent "Diesel Summit" where they merely pledged to install software updates in affected vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VBZB) has demanded that carmakers make binding commitments on the planned software upgrades for diesel vehicles on Friday.
Schulz demands the hosting of a second diesel summit in the fall to assess the progress and efficacy of the measures agreed. Should software upgrades prove insufficient to lower nitrogen oxide pollution levels, the automotive industry would have to provide more expensive retrofitting of diesel motors, "...of course paid by the producers," he added.
Schulz wants emissions testing to occur both before and after vehicles are officially registered. "Random spot tests" were needed as an "effective control against the cheating tricks of the industry," according to Schulz.
"The German automotive industry must become much better in the field of electric vehicles." Schulz said.