German car states cooperate and demand greater gov't investments in e-mobility

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-07 23:31:06|Editor: yan
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BERLIN, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The German federal states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria and Lower Saxony have agreed on more intensive cooperation in the expansion of e-mobility and called on the federal government to make greater investments on Friday.

"Where are the one million electric cars that the German government had planned to build by 2020?", Baden-Wuerttemberg's minister president Winfried Kretschmann asked at the joint press conference in Berlin.

"We need greater financial contributions from the federal government," said Lower Saxony's minister president Stephan Weil. Tax incentives could facilitate the changeover, for example by providing depreciation allowances for employers who convert their service fleets to e-cars.

Home to Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW respectively, the three German states demanded that the German car industry's transformation from a combustion engine to climate-friendly, networked mobility be driven forward quickly.

Bavarian minister president Markus Soeder stressed that the alliance was not only about electric mobility but also about synthetic fuels.

Despite competing as car manufacturers, the German states announced to work more closely together, for example on setting up the charging infrastructure or on joint training initiatives and research.

"It is about our technological leadership, sustainable jobs and the preservation of our prosperity," according to a joint position paper by minister presidents Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), Markus Soeder (CSU), and Stephan Weil (SPD).

The unusual alliance between three German minister presidents of three different parties is not supporting a CO2 tax. However, Kretschmann and Weil were in favor of CO2 pricing in principle, while Bavaria's minister president Soeder preferred an incentive system.

Germany's Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) welcomed the initiative as a "tailwind" for proposals for climate-friendly mobility that he had put forward to the German Climate Cabinet.

Germany's transport minister Scheuer is seeking to reduce CO2 emissions from transport with a big package of measures such as ramping up the government bonus for the purchase of electric cars as well as reducing the value added tax on long-distance train tickets.

Following the diesel exhaust scandal and the ongoing debates about climate, the three ministers asked not to regard the car as the only enemy. "The car industry has been part of the problem so far," Weil said and added that now, "it must become part of the solution."