BERLIN May 27 Chancellor Angela Merkel has
reaffirmed her target to bring one million electric cars onto
German roads by the end of the decade, despite weak interest
Her government is hosting a two-day industry summit in
Berlin to promote the fledgling technology, after fewer than
3,000 electric cars were sold in Germany last year out of a
total market that exceeded 3 million.
The German auto industry plans to invest roughly 12 billion
euros ($15.52 billion) in alternative powertrains, including
battery-powered electric cars, in the next three to four years,
according to industry association VDA.
"Driving electrically is no vision anymore, it's a reality.
Thousands of cars are already on our roads and by the end of the
next year, German carmakers will have at least 16 electric
series production cars on sale," said VDA President Matthias
Merkel affirmed her target in a statement, stressing the
importance of cross-border cooperation.
Once hyped as a technology that would revolutionise the auto
industry and eventually crowd out conventional petrol-fuelled
cars, sales have barely taken off due to high costs and range
According to a survey of roughly 1,000 German drivers by the
country's motoring club ADAC, Germans are much more sceptical
about the technology than two years ago and less willing to
accept inconveniences like long charging times.
ADAC said on Monday that nearly half of all German car
owners are unwilling to pay extra for an electric car for their
The low interest in Germany is nothing unique.
On Sunday, electric car company Better Place, which had
partnered with French carmaker Renault and set up a battery
charging network in Israel and Denmark, filed a motion in an
Israeli court to liquidate.
Renault said on Monday that the move did not call
into question its own electric vehicle strategy, one of the most
Upstart U.S. electric car maker Tesla has bucked
the trend, reporting its first-ever quarterly profit this month
and paying off its U.S. government loans nine years earlier than