Government Program Electromobility

Government Program Electromobility Government Program Electromobility | © GTAI

The Federal Minstry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) adopted a government program May 2011 in response to the findings of the second report of the National Platform for Electric Mobility.

Ministry-supported R&D measures will be flagged by regional showcase and technical flagship projects for the creation of increased synergies within the smart mobility sector.

Electromobility Showcase Projects

The government plans to set up so-called electromobility "showcase" projects highlighting application-based R&D as a first step towards market development (following a recommendation of the second NPE report).

The regional showcase projects will act as a "shop window" for innovative cross-industry partnerships in the country's different federal states. This means making German technological expertise visible in a small number of large projects in which public and private partners pool their joint competences and resources.

The showcases will allow the general public to literally get to know and experience electromobility. The high profile nature of the successful showcase projects will stimulate international demand for electromobility solutions developed in Germany.

It is currently foreseen that the large-scale showcase projects be located in three to five locations or regions. Synergies with existing federal support programs in the energy infrastructure and traffic sectors will be evaluated and deployed accordingly.

The electromobility showcase projects will be characterized by the following

  • Systematic approach (energy system electric vehicle, mobility/traffic system and interfaces between these elements);
  • Formation of alliances and partnerships that represent the entire mobility value chain; regulatory framework trials;
  • Reach critical size in order to draw conclusions as to the mass market viability of the deployed electromobility solutions;
  • Integration of a broad public;
  • Integration of academic and vocational training and further qualification measures (e.g. visible qualification measures);
  • Appropriate level of engagement with the local economy;
  • Clear and resilient acknowledgement of the commitment of the participating municipalities and federal states.

The German Federal Government endorses the NPE recommendation to award showcase status in open competition and plans to implement a nationwide interest determination procedure.

The joint statement issued by the Federal Government and German industry on May 3, 2010, proposed the further development and expansion of the eight model regions for electric mobility to pilot regions (current model region funding ends in October 2011). The showcase initiative represents the fulfillment of this shared objective.

Established model regions and projects which do not form part of the showcase initiative will be continued and developed after successful evaluation in limited form. These provide a continuation to innovative impulse and have an important contribution to make in the market start-up phase. Such projects would remain a part of the proven R&D programs of participating government ministries. The focusing of existing resources in showcase projects remains the overarching goal.

Electromobility Showcase Projects - The Winners

Based on an independent jury recommendation, the federal government identified four showcase projects for funding from a field of 23 applicants in April 2012. The winning showcase projects have been selected to form the large-scale demonstration and pilot projects according to level of bundling and (international) visibility of innovative electromobility elements to the interfaces of the energy, vehicle, and traffic systems.

Federal funding of up to EUR 180 million has been made available for the three-year showcase program.

The four winning showcase projects are:

1. Living Lab BW Electric Mobility (Baden-Württemberg)

Region: Baden-Württemberg (esp. Stuttgart and Karlsruhe regions)

Project PartnersPriorities
  • Local and regional authorities (i.e. Baden-Württemberg state government, Stuttgart region, Karlsruhe, city of Stuttgart)
  • Large-scale enterprises (e.g., Audi AG, Daimler AG, Porsche AG, IBM GmbH, TÜV Süd, Renault AG)
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (e.g., Yellow Map AG, e-Wolf GmbH, Huber Automotive GmbH)
  • Higher education and research institutes (e.g. University of Stuttgart)
  • Associations and professional bodies (e.g. IG Metall trade union, chambers of commerce)
  • Intermodality
  • Fleet operation
  • Car sharing
  • Commercial transport
  • Transport planning
  • Public relations
  • Vocational training and CPD

2. International Showcase Electric Mobility (Berlin/Brandenburg)

Region: Capital region Berlin-Brandenburg

Project PartnersPriorities
  • 257 partners
  • 2 local/regional authorities
  • 107 large-scale enterprises
  • 90 small and medium-sized enterprises
  • 34 higher education and research institutes
  • 24 professional bodies, associations, networks and other institutions
  • Road transport ("zero emission" passenger and commercial transport)
  • "Charge and park" (sustainable development of extant public charging infrastructure)
  • Storage (electric mobility as part of capital region "smart grid")
  • Networking (ICT, education and services/vocational training and CPD, electric mobility districts)
  • Public relations (hands-on experience of electric mobility in action, German innovation and technological know-how, electric mobility zones)
  • Cooperation (local, national and international)

3. We're Switching to Electric Horsepower (Lower Saxony)

Region: Hanover, Braunschweig, Göttingen, and Wolfsburg

Project PartnersPriorities
  • Regional and local authorities (i.e. Braunschweig, Wolfsburg, Hildesheim)
  • Large-scale enterprises (e.g., Bombardier, Continental, DB Rent, ÜSTRA, Volkswagen AG)
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (e.g., Rangebike concept, Projektregion Braunschweig, C4C Engineering
  • Higher education and research institutes (e.g., Works Council Electric Mobility Network, Braunschweig
  • Chamber of Trade and Craft Industries, German Red Cross)
  • Vehicles (electric vehicles "made in the Metropolitan Region", battery re-use and recycling)
  • Energy and infrastructure (smart grid - examples of decentralized energy generation and accessible electric mobility)
  • Transport (vehicle fleet conversion, commuter incentives, electric car sharing)

4. Electric Mobility connects (Bavaria/Saxony)

Regions: Federal State of Bavaria, Federal State of Saxony

Project PartnersPriorities
  • Regional and local authorities (i.e. federal states, districts and towns and cities including Dresden, Ingolstadt, Leipzig, and Nuremberg)
  • Large-scale enterprises (e.g., Audi, BMW, E.ON, MAN, N-ERGIE)
  • Wide variety of small and medium-sized enterprises in Bavaria and Saxony
  • Numerous universities and other higher education and research institutes (e.g., Augsburg, Deggendorf, Dresden, Landshut, Mittwelda, and Munich)
  • Associations and professional bodies (e.g., chambers of trade and craft industries, chambers of commerce and trade associations in Bavaria and Saxony)
  • Long-distance transport (Munich-Leipzig A9 axis)
  • Urban transport (street parking)
  • Rural transport (meeting transport needs of rural and sparsely populated communities)
  • International visibility and international long-distance transport (e.g. cooperation initiatives with Austria and Quebec)
  • Vocational training and CPD (as cornerstone of forward-looking and growing electric mobility system in Bavaria and Saxony)

Electromobility Flagship Projects

The Federal Government wants to promote innovation in important electromobility technology sectors and "open" up cross-industry innovation processes ("open innovation") with the setting up of the flagship projects. This will not only intensify the innovation potential within the German research and industry sector, but also accelerate actual use.To that end, a bundling of complementary individual projects (systems, products, and component development) with a clear thematic focus - on the basis of NPE recommendations - is intended. Added value will be created by bringing expertise from different sectors and setting up networked innovation clusters.

Through strong thematic focus and integration of cutting-edge research, the flagship projects will acquire high prestige character for German science and industry. The interdisciplinary nature of the flagship projects means that they will be administered by cross-industry consortia in order to increase technological openness and overall project success. Flagship initiatives in the most diverse electromobility-related sectors are conceivable, with individual flagships being distinct from the showcases in terms of their focus on individual technologies and application areas.

Science and industry resources are bundled together in the flagship projects. Bundled resources from science and industry are As well as having a high strategic value, the flagship projects are applications-based - significantly increasing the likelihood of the technologies developed being successfully implemented. Flagship suitable subject areas have a significant role to play in reducing the cost of electromobility and to technological advances made.

As showpiece projects with strong media profile, the lighthouse projects have an important part to play in raising the profile of electromobility activities. In accordance with the NPE proposed technology road maps, the federal government plans to promote flagship projects in the following areas:

Drive Technology

  • Complete vehicle
  • Drive technology

Production Technology

  • Energy Systems and Storage
  • Materials development
  • Cell technologies and batteries
  • Modular production technology
  • Safety and durability

Loading Infrastructure and Network Integration

  • Intelligent networks
  • Energy recovery
  • Inductive energy transfer and quick-charging systems

Mobility Concepts

  • Electro-bus systems

Recycling and Resource-Efficiency

Information and Communications Technology

Electromobility Flagship Projects - The Winners

Flagship projects are specifically targeted toward advancing the various technologies that are crucial for the development of electric mobility. Limited in number, the flagship projects focus on clear thematic priorities including drive, production, battery, and information and communication technology.

Within the flagships, outstanding projects have been selected according to the thematic focal points mentioned. “Flagship” status within the flagships is a seal of approval for important innovations which make a significant contribution to technological development and cost reductions in the field of electromobility.

The following projects have been awarded "flagship" project status by the federal government.

1. Information and Communication Technology

econnect Germany

(January 2012 to December 2014)

Development of sustainable mobility concepts in municipal environments (public utilities) where the focus is on the intelligent networking of energy and traffic systems using ICT-based solutions.

2. Mobility Concepts

Demonstration of electromobility in municipal and business traffic: subprojects Metropol-E and Elmo - Electromobile Urban Business Traffic

(September 2011 to end August 2014)

The project highlights the possibilities for new business models with real users from the business traffic sector and municipal applications. Important findings with relevance for the composition of charging infrastructure, charging technologies, and fleet management are expected.



Electromobility in heavy commercial vehicles for protection of the environment in urban areas - ENUBA 2

(April 2012 to end April 2014)

The project should lead to the creation of a system for overhead contact wire electric operation of heavy commercial vehicles and buses to be deployed in the public transport space. R&D activities are concentrated in vehicle technology including current collector, overhead contact wire system, and energy supply. Accompanying research work concern the analysis of all traffic and energy-technology, environmental, economic and legal factors relevant to later deployment in the public space.

3. Charging Infrastructure and Network Integration
Demonstration of contactless static and dynamic loading infrastructure with high performance - subprojects: Optimization of inductive energy transfer components and system testing - Primove Rail, Primove Road and Primove Braunschweig (June 2011 to end February 2014)Contact-free energy transfer by means of resonant induction allows standing (stationary) and moving (dynamic) electric vehicles to be charged in safe and reliable fashion. During the course of the project, systems of this nature will be tested in day-to-day operations. Major focus is placed upon systems with high transfer performance and efficiency levels in order to be able to efficiently power larger vehicles (e.g. buses and trucks) in contact-free fashion.

4. Recycling and Resource Efficiency

LithoRec II

(July 2012 to end June 2015)

The project examines the complete recycling process chain (from deactivation of batteries and cells to the disassembling of batteries and the reducing and classification of the different component materials. A pilot facility for the recycling of lithium-ion traction batteries will be set up and put into operation in parallel with the project research activities.

5. Energy Systems and Energy Storage

eProduction - Production research into high voltage storage systems for electromobility

(December 2011 to November 2014)

Research work conducted during the course of the project should lead to safer, more robust and more sustainable production of energy storage systems possible. The specific challenges created by construction, assembly and repair of batteries/battery-driven vehicles (as well as the sustainable use of resources in holistic manner) should already be considered in the battery and battery production system design phases.



SafeBatt - Active and passive measures for intrinsically safe lithium-ion batteries

(July 2012 to end June 2015)

The project intends to make models and sensor lithium-ion batteries more reliable through the research, development and introduction of new materials. In parallel, a so-called "digital battery passport" will be created through the continual collation, evaluation and documentation of critical battery parameters.

6. Drive Technologies and Lightweight Design

e generation - Key technologies for the next generation of electric vehicles

(January 2012 to end December 2014)

The R&D activities being followed have the stated goal of extending the range of electric vehicles by 40 percent. In order to increase the range, new approaches to vehicle air-condition form a major research focal point alongside a fundamental reduction of energy consumption through a new generation of drive components and control systems. Reductions in overall vehicle weight also contribute to increasing range. To this end, additional lightweight construction factors will also be researched.



VisioM - Visionary vehicle concept for urban electromobility

(March 2012 to end August 2014)

New technologies and innovations in vehicle safety, drive technology, energy storage, and operating concept are being tested for readiness for mass production on a miniature electric vehicle. The comprehensive use of lightweight construction materials, particularly in the transmission system, will be explored.

R&D Lighthouse Projects

The NPE has established six R&D lighthouse projects which are already successfully up and running. In line with NPE proposals, a number of technology research areas were consolidated into existing projects to create the respective R&D lighthouse projects.


The batteries R&D lighthouse project has been created to help Germany realize its stated aim of being a global leader in cell and battery technology with an integrated domestic manufacturing capability by 2020. The NPE has identified five thematic research priority areas in close consultation with industry, the research community and government. A total of 21 consortia have been formed. The consortia are made up of actors from industry and research communities.

The research priorities assigned the different consortia have been derived from the NPE’s first report.

The first thematic priority is focused on optimizing cell components. The second thematic research priority concerns the development of cost-effective and optimal performance post-Lithium ion technologies.

The third thematic research area addresses safety and testing equipment and procedures. The fourth research priority will investigate aging mechanisms and smart control designs in order to increase efficiency levels. The fifth research priority area concerns the testing of process technologies for mass production in order to identify the appropriate production technology for large-scale production purposes.

Individual consortia have been assessed in terms of their place in the value chain in order to address Germany’s stated lead supplier goal. The different projects represent all stages of the value chain and help establish a new quality standard across the entire system.

A two-pronged strategy has been adopted in accordance with the NPE principle of multiple technology deployment. Lithium-ion technology constitutes the first component or pillar of activity, with post-lithium ion technologies (such as lithium-sulfur, zinc-air, and lithium-air) constituting the second post-2025 period component.

Successful implementation of the battery R&D strategy will allow meaningful progress to be made towards establishing integrated cell and battery system manufacturing capability in Germany.

Drive Technologies and Vehicle Integration

Detailed drive and vehicle integration technology road maps for the R&D lighthouse projects in the fields of highly integrated drive systems (including on-board charging technology), electric motors, and power electronics/inverters were drawn up as part of the NPE’s second report published in 2011.

The resulting projects will prioritize research in the areas of improving cost efficiencies and increasing production volumes, improving power density and power-to-weight ratios and enhancing efficiency, quality and reliability.

Thirty-four new proposals have been consolidated within concrete projects which are now being implemented. Added to existing funding of approximately EUR 530 million, new project funding of EUR 340 million brings total project funding to around the EUR 870 million.

The resulting joint projects are made up of partnerships between research institutions, small and medium-sized businesses and major industry players.

Projects have been assigned two distinct categories:

  • efficient, high-performance motor designs and materials
  • cost-effective motor designs and materials.

As well as reducing vehicle cost, weight, and footprint, further projects will identify and evaluate designs for increasing power density, alternative electric motor technologies, and test procedure and specification standardization.

Power electronics projects within the drive technologies R&D lighthouse will examine ways of significantly reducing mass production systems costs for electric motors and associated power electronics. In drive systems, analysis of end-to-end optimization of efficiency, cost, weight, volume, and reliability of different power-train topologies is also being conducted.

Research projects concerning testing techniques in the field of manufacturing technologies have also been set up to assess quality assurance measures within the production process. Important research work is also being conducted in the field of integrated energy management in order to offset the increased power consumption effects of ancillary components due to, for example, seasonal change.

Network integration of electric vehicles into the transport and energy subsystems is a further area of drive technology R&D lighthouse activity.

Concrete results are already being yielded by the different drive technology R&D lighthouse projects, as project findings are implemented in production vehicle development. The domestic automotive sector (OEMs and suppliers) has announced more than 15 electric vehicle production runs planned over the next two to three years.

Lightweight Design

Although not explicitly singled out by the Government Program Electromobility as a lead technology area, it nevertheless enjoys high funding priority as a major cross-sectoral technology.

The lightweight design R&D lighthouse project is conducting research into new and modified materials on the way to functionally integrated systemic lightweight design. Activities have been defined in terms of four thematic research areas:

  • Development of lightweight materials;
  • Optimization and development of components;
  • Development of lightweight electric vehicle structures;
  • Industrial scale resource-efficient manufacturing processes.

The strategic import of lightweight design within the broader electric vehicle value chain is outlined by the number of research funding applications received. Over 90 separate applications were received, of which 15 were successful in obtaining R&D funding. According to the NPE, the potential created by adopting a systemic approach to the fundamental scientific and technical factors of lightweight design unfold in the adoption of a single, coherent approach to the different value process chains.


Increased awareness of the need to reduce harmful emissions into the environment is seeing governments worldwide act to regulate permissible vehicle pollution levels. In 2009, the European Union (EU) and G8 member countries agreed to reduce CO2 emission levels by 80 percent by the year 2050. In order to meet this overall target, road transport must be decarbonized by a striking 95 percent over the same period.

These ambitious goals will only be achieved through creating new vehicle fuel efficiencies by developing sustainable drive train alternatives. Electric vehicles have a major role to play in safeguarding the environment. The NPE concludes that recycling represents a strategic pillar in the development of an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable electric mobility industry.

The recycling R&D lighthouse project is made up of two thematic areas:

  • Battery materials
  • Power train component materials

A number of new components and materials are entering the value chain mix as lithium-ion batteries and alternative power trains are further developed. This in turn calls upon the introduction of new or modified recycling processes.

A further overarching theme - besides key materials recycling – is the safeguarding of raw material supply. Germany’s raw materials strategy is helping industry to secure raw material sources by establishing partnerships with a number of raw material-supplying countries.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Infrastructure

The objective of the ICT and infrastructure R&D lighthouse projects is the development of charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies as well as related communications processes and transactions.

The second report of the NPE identified four key thematic research areas for the ICT and Infrastructure R&D lighthouse. These are:

  • Charging technologies;
  • Power grid integration;
  • ICT interfaces - energy systems;
  • ICT interfaces - traffic systems.

R&D activities currently being conducted across these four areas take place within 15 broad-based consortia. At the time of writing, 17 further projects are currently being evaluated by the relevant government ministries.

Different charging (normal, fast, and inductive) technology progress to date can be tracked according to the NPE’s charging infrastructure technology roadmap (contained in an appendix of the second NPE report published in 2011).

Common interoperable processes and standard solutions are imperative to achieving acceptance within the driving public. Commercially viable fast-charging solutions (including DC and AC-based systems) are being developed by energy utilities, electrical engineering companies, automotive and battery manufactures for introduction within the showcase project regions. Fast chargers with up to 100 kW capacity - which will significantly reduce charging times - are being put through their paces for eventual implementation during the early mass-market phase.

The creation of common charging point and vehicle standards is essential to Germany’s 2020 objectives. The NPE endorses the German-American developed Combined Charging System (CCS) universal charging system.

In order to create a charging infrastructure that is fully integrated into the power grid, smart charging (grid-to-vehicle – G2V) and two-way power generation (V2G) models are being researched further, as are dynamic payment tariff models.

ICT-based energy and traffic system interfaces are being created along maximum process simplicity and transparency lines to promote user acceptance and generate appropriate business models. Research findings from the different model regions are being collated for further development in the respective showcase regions.

The energy sector is currently targeting a 90 percent level of fully accessible charging stations for all users by 2014.

Incentives and Measures

The regulatory and policy framework has to be just right if the use of smart vehicles is to be made attractive. For that reason, the Government Program Electromobility sets out a range of tax incentive mechanisms and road traffic management measures to promote smart mobility.

Tax Incentive Mechanisms

  • Motor Vehicle Tax Exemption

    At present only completely electric vehicles are exempt from motor vehicle tax. However, potential also exists in the light commercial vehicle and light vehicle segments. The same applies to hybrid vehicles, particularly plug-in hybrid vehicles.

    In the future, all motor vehicles, commercial light vehicles and light vehicles which are completely electric powered or technology neutral with a combined type CO2 test value below 50g/km (motor vehicles and commercial light vehicles only) authorized by 21.12.2015 will be exempt from motor vehicle tax for a period of ten years.

  • Company Car Taxation

    At present, the private use of a company vehicle is assigned as a monetary advantage of taxable income which is calculated as part of the gross list price. The current ruling is not entirely advantageous for electric vehicles because of their current high price levels. This prevents their widespread use in fleets, as current high taxation levels act to dissuade potential electric vehicle users of the other financial benefits of use. Yet company vehicle fleets represent a significant market segment opportunity for electric vehicles. The deployment of environmentally friendly vehicles in service fleets sends out a signal to the public and set the tone for widespread public acceptance of electric vehicles.

    To that end, the Federal Government will adapt company car taxation accordingly. The goal is a comprehensive dismantling of the current tax competitive disadvantages for electric vehicles in relation to combustion engine vehicles. Here the Federal Government will take the existing company car taxation system (gross list price as reference value) as its starting point.

Road Traffic Measures

  • Special Parking Places for Electric Vehicles
    Germany's federal government is comprehensively behind electric vehicles. Special parking privileges for electric vehicles belong to the array of promotional measures drawn up to further promote electromobility. To that end, the government has prepared a traffic guideline statement outlining the uniform sign-posting of parking places (particularly charging stations in public traffic areas) which allows local authorities to implement existing legislation more easily.
  • Suspension of Restricted Entry Access for Electric Vehicles
    Delivery vehicles are ideal for electric drive systems. Restricted entry access will be relaxed or entirely suspended for delivery vehicles. This includes in particular time entry restrictions and access restrictions remitted to conventionally driven vehicles for noise limit reasons.

    Prioritization of loading and delivery traffic is already possible under law (e.g. in pedestrian zones according to supplementary designation). Special prioritization only for electric-powered vehicles would represent a significant handicapping of normal loading and delivery vehicles. For that reason, an improvement for this reason must be justified by environmental benefits. The federal government will work with the federal states and separate local authorities to further develop the existing environmental law framework conditions.
  • Authorized Use of Bus Lanes for Electric Vehicles
    Granting electric vehicles authorized use of bus lanes potentially represents an attractive additional incentive for electric vehicle purchase and use. For this purpose, practical experiences obtained in the flagship and model regions will be assessed to determine the viability of such a scheme and to minimize any possible adverse effect on bus traffic.
  • Special Traffic Lanes for Electric Vehicles
    Special traffic lanes and loading lanes could be used to provide an additional medium to long-term incentive to electric vehicle use. The practicability of such an initiative will be evaluated within the framework of the flagship and model regions projects. The first results should be available in 2013. Based on these experiences the government will complement the relevant parent act where necessary.

Emissions and Environmental Law Measures

  • Emission-free Vehicle Classification
    Electric vehicles which are linked to renewable energies will benefit from a legal foundation which allows them to be classified as emission-free vehicles. In accordance with the Ordinances to the Federal Immission Control Act, electric vehicles will be issued with a blue sticker which affords special privileges in traffic and public places (e.g. free parking, special lanes privileges, access to special zones etc.). Germany will also actively work at a European level to ensure that all low-emission classified vehicles are entitled to special incentives.

    The European Union (EU) has set itself the goal of reducing CO2 emissions in road traffic by significantly reducing the fleet consumption limit level (fleet average to be achieved by all new EU-registered passenger vehicles is 130g CO2/km by 2015). The definition of Europe-wide CO2 target levels for new vehicle fleets for cars and light commercial vehicles will prove significant to electric vehicle adoption and receptiveness levels.

    By 2015, passenger vehicles with an output of less than 50g CO2/km and light commercial vehicles (transporters) with a higher factor by 2017 will be included in the fleet consumption calculation and will provide a bonus in terms of CO2 fleet targets. Germany will continue to work actively at the EU-level to ensure that multiple allowances for these vehicles are a reality by 2020.

Other Measures

  • Low-interest KfW bank credit
  • Interchangeable vehicle license plates
  • Public procurement plan
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