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Germans Push to Lead in Battery Car Drive

Berlin pitched as European showcase of electromobility.

by on Nov.13, 2012

With German government backing, the country's automakers are investing heavily in alternative propulsion - like the Mercedes' F- and E-Cell models shown here.

Apparently Germans are getting serious about electric vehicles.

The City of Berlin is preparing to expand its effort to become the showcase metropolis in Europe for electromobility.  After a rather slow start, the public charging infrastructure within the German capital is to increase from 100 to 300 by 2013 and to 800 by the end of 2015.

It’s part of a broader German effort to set up a country-wide network of as many as 1,000 or more service facilities that will offer Autobahn drivers the ability to both charge up their battery cars – or fuel up vehicles that run on hydrogen rather than gasoline.

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“There is certainly a lot to do, but the trend lines show that if conditions are right, electromobility in Germany will become more than just a short-term hype. Two recently passed laws that offer tax incentives to buyers and users of electric cars will come into effect in 2013,” said Stefan Di Bitonto, electromobility expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.

Due to the high purchase price of an electric or hybrid vehicle, there will be a future taxation reduction for company cars used privately. As the battery system usually accounts for a significant portion of the price, the costs will be subtracted from the taxed sum of the total car price.

Moreover, all pure electric or fuel-cell vehicles are exempt from the motor vehicle tax for the next ten years, Di Bitonto said.

The private sector is also interested in the use of more economical and low-emission vehicles.

Di Bitonto said some companies are intent on converting parts of their fleet vehicles to plug-in hybrids or electric cars in order to test them in a working environment. An example of this is the German Post, which has recently announced their second testing phase of 50 electric cars developed specifically for letter and postal delivery.

Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies seeking to expand into the German market. It supports German companies that seek to enter foreign markets, with foreign trade information.

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