Germany is expected to have 1 million electric car charging stations by 2030, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video message on Sunday ahead of Monday's meetings with the auto industry on how to speed up moving to low-emission battery-powered vehicles.
"For this purpose, we want to create 1 million charging points by 2030 and the industry will have to participate in that effort, that's what we'll talk about," said Merkel. Germany now has only 20,000 public charging points.
Stephan Weil, the prime minister of Lower Saxony, where Volkswagen is headquartered, said he wanted to see appointments for 100,000 public charging points by 2021.
Weil is a member of Volkswagen's supervisory board, committed to making the transition to battery-powered cars but needing to see more charging infrastructure to successfully market them.
An electric car is seen during charging at a public charging station in Berlin, Germany, April 2016 – Photo: Michael Sohn / AP / Archive
The meeting is the second on the issue of rapid action so that Germany's transport sector can help meet national emissions targets.
Prospective buyers cited a lack of fuel infrastructure as a reason to avoid electric cars.
In addition to the electric alternatives to gasoline and diesel cars, the government will also explore those powered by hydrogen fuel cells, with the government and industry sharing the cost of subsidies to attract buyers to both.
Merkel said the government aims to preserve jobs in car and parts manufacturing. It is becoming clear that fewer employees are needed to build electric cars than conventional ones.
Weil said Berlin should ease provisions to finance short-term work compensation if the industry becomes overwhelmed.
"Extremely demanding time is ahead of the German automotive industry, which needs to be actively monitored by policy makers," he said.