Smart Mobility

Smart Mobility

Germany - Home of the Automobile

Smart devices provide real-time traffic and routing information. Smart vehicles are integrated into the power grid.  | © GTAI 2011 marked the 125th anniversary of the birth of the automobile in Germany. As the home too of the world's first four-stroke internal combustion engine, Germany continues to occupy a unique position in the international automotive arena. Today, Germany's automotive industry stands on the cusp of a new era. Drive train electrification (hybrid, battery and fuel cell vehicles) reduces dependence on oil, reduces emissions and allows the vehicles of tomorrow to be fully integrated into a multimodal traffic system.

Smart mobility promises nothing more than a mobility revolution; with clean energy fueling the drive technologies of the future. An electric power train is up to four times as energy efficient as a conventional combustion engine - meaning less energy required per distance traveled. Moreover, smart vehicle batteries can be integrated into the power grid to increase stability - an increasingly important argument as we make the transition to renewable energies.

Electromobility means much more than simply developing new drive technologies. It also represents a major paradigm shift for the transport and energy sectors. As such, it provides a number of opportunities to introduce new vehicle categories and develop alternative transport schemes. New value-added supply chains allow industry and economy sectors to come together for the first time, with individual quality of life and modes of mobility becoming greater and more varied. Close networking of the auto, machinery and plant, energy (conventional and alternative energy sources), electrical, chemical, ICT sectors and their corresponding R&D resources is guaranteed and bundled according to individual competences.

This is of strategic importance and all the more remarkable for the fact that electromobility as a cross-sectional technology brings together two industry sectors with little historical connection: the automotive and energy utility sectors. Early integration of all relevant actors prepares the basis for broad acceptance and swift implementation of electromobility. Germany has set itself the goal of becoming the lead market and provider for electric mobility by 2020 as part of its long-term zero emission mobility vision.

Driving the "Car of the Future" in Berlin - CNN International Video

As part of CNN International’s "Business 360 - Future Cities" series, CNN anchor (business journalist) Richard Quest (Quest Means Business) looks at Germany's motoring past and future as he takes a spin in a sophisticated computer-controlled car - developed at the Freie Universität Berlin - which drives itself (video below).

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Increased awareness of the need to reduce harmful emissions into the environment is seeing governments worldwide act to regulate permissible vehicle pollution levels. Within Europe, the European Union (EU) has submitted far-reaching proposals to significantly reduce passenger vehicle CO2 emission levels by 2020. Fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels of all European-manufactured passenger vehicles are to be reduced to 130g/km of CO2 through drive train-related measures.

An additional reduction of 10g/km of CO2 has to be achieved through biofuels and "complementary measures" (including gear change timing gauges, efficient air conditioning systems, and tire inflation control systems) so that a set target of 120g/km of CO2 is realized by 2012.

By 2020, vehicles must comply with a value of 95g/km of CO2. Suppliers of CO2 emission-reducing technologies - which help manufacturers keep vehicles both affordable and appealing to the end customer - are finding unique business opportunities in Germany.

Electric Mobility

Electric vehicles are those completely or partially driven by electric energy. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen-electric or fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) provide the purest form of electric traction. So-called "hybrid" vehicles are dual-powered by electric drive and a combustion engine.  As a transitional technology on the road to climate friendly and pure electric mobility, hybrid vehicles have a significant role to play.

Electric mobility is diverse in nature. It includes everything from hybrid drive trains, plug-in vehicles and fully electric vehicles which operate from a battery or fuel cell. These technologies are deployed according to application. For instance, light electric vehicles are already a more common sight in urban traffic environments and fuel-cell powered and hybrid buses are being piloted in public transport scenarios.

Industry Brochure

Electromobility in Germany: Vision 2020 and Beyond | © GTAI Electromobility in Germany:
Vision 2020 and Beyond

Germany has set itself the goal of becoming the lead market and provider for electric mobility by 2020. Find out how Germany plans to meet these goals in our new publication.

The Road to Smart Mobility

The road to smart mobility is a progressive one with a number of stopping-off stations, but a path on which Germany has already embarked. The essential technologies for electric and hybrid drives, clean energy production, energy storage, and intelligent grid structure are already in place.

The country's automotive sector is leading the way in developing alternative drive technologies - including electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles - in order to improve fuel efficiencies, reduce dependency on dwindling natural resources and significantly reduce harmful pollution levels.

Establishing Germany as the lead market for electric mobility goes far beyond increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road. It is also about increasing the visibility of technologies and intermodal fields of application, not to mention promoting dynamic new business and service delivery models.

National Electromobility Development Plan

National Electromobility Development Plan: 2020 Vision | © GTAI One million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 - that is the aim of Germany's visionary "National Electromobility Development Plan." More than EUR 500 million in R&D funds have been set aside to make this ambitious goal a reality.