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16. May 2010

Patronage for eCarTec 2010 through Dr. Ramsauer

Patronage for eCarTec 2010 through Dr. Ramsauer

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Patronage for eCarTec 2010 through Dr. Ramsauer

Dr. Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister of Transport, will take up the patronage of eCarTec, 2nd International Trade Fair for electric mobility, which will take place in Munich from October 19-21, 2010. "My goal is set: A total of at least one million electric cars driving on Germany’s streets by 2020."

Munich, April 2010: By agreeing to take up the patronage, the Federal Minister of Transport, Dr. Ramsauer, gives a clear signal for Germany’s unique innovation event on the topic of electric mobility. More than 400 international companies and 20,000 visitors are expected to visit eCarTec 2010. This translates as a doubling of visitors and exhibitors compared to last year’s event. Today, six months prior to the opening, the number of applicants has already considerably exceeded last year’s number.

Mr. Raumsauer, you are considered a passionate supporter of electric vehicles. The coalition agreement states Germany’s serious intent to become a leading market for electric mobility. How do you intend to meet this goal?

First of all, I have put this topic at the top of my list in my department and have bundled together professional competence in terms of climate and environmental protection. I am increasing the enthusiasm among my colleagues for these future innovations. We are now jointly approaching this topic with great impetus. Our projects for the promotion of electric mobility with batteries and fuel cells have been quite successful and the response has been rather impressive. We have convinced even the most varied project partners of our pilot projects, among them members of the automotive industry, smaller suppliers, large energy providers, municipal utility service providers, research institutes, and public transportation service providers. We have also been very active abroad and are currently cooperating with one of our European partners to promote the topic of electric mobility nationally and internationally. I am convinced that our measures fully support our promising strategy.

How does the Federal Government support electric mobility, and with what budget?

The budget of our support program currently amounts to over two billion euro. Today, we are investing 700 million euro in the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technology. Another 700 million euro is financed by the economy. An additional 500 million euro is to be financed by the economic stimulus package II and will be invested in the applied research and development of electric mobility. 115 million euro alone is dedicated to our model regions, not including the additional investments from the industry. This will become a practical test for the introduction of electric mobility in Germany. So far, we have selected over 100 individual projects for our model regions. To date, hundreds of small and large enterprises have been supported by our program and the first projects have already started. Let me give you an example here. In mid-March, the first diesel-hybrid busses of the Hamburg aerial railway fleet were put into operation in the model region of Hamburg. In February, Ford provided the first 10 fully electric delivery vehicles in North Rhein-Westfalia. Moreover, we are promoting the construction of hydrogen filling stations as well as a testing center for the use of vehicle batteries in terms of traffic safety. Financial support, however, is just one aspect. We are also seeking to create suitable legal and regulative framework conditions to ensure the swift development of electric mobility. In addition, we are also endeavoring to increase the acceptance for new ways of mobility by launching our model projects.

When will the electric car be able to replace the combustion vehicle?

First of all, I want to prepare traffic for the future. This means, it has to be environmentally safe, climate friendly, and affordable. It also means that we have to reduce our dependency on crude oil. Battery and fuel cell driven cars will not be able to replace combustion engines overnight, but they will play a major role in the medium or long-term future. The new drive technologies have to become a convincing alternative for car drivers. Battery-driven vehicles are suitable for short distances in cities. Fuel cells, however, are facing a bright future when it comes to long-distance travel. My goal is set at a total of one million electric cars driving on Germany’s streets by 2020.

Is the federal government planning to systematically replace its vehicle pool with electric vehicles?

The purchase of electric vehicles is especially suitable for larger fleets because they can be charged on-site in the depot. Electric cars also provide an advantage when it comes to maintenance. Therefore, the federal government is currently considering the replacement of its car fleet on the condition that all the vehicles are in fact available on the market.

What can the automotive industry and its suppliers expect from electric mobility?

Our plan is to become a leading market for electric mobility. The development and launch of electric mobility with batteries and fuel cells opens up new horizons for the technological and industrial location of Germany. The amount of aid money alone proves that the new drives include an incredible potential for development. Our industry will benefit from this considerably. The German car manufacturer and supply industry has always shown a high level of innovation, which is something that we should continue to utilize. Moreover, new fields of cooperation are developing between industrial branches along the value added chain. New market players are included, such as battery manufacturers, for example. My vision is to continue manufacturing the best electric vehicles in the same way that we have always built the best cars with combustion engines.

Will the electric car lead to a change of habits among Germans?

The Germans are technology enthusiasts and have always been interested in innovations that are suitable for daily use. The traffic behavior of people will certainly change as electric mobility develops and, therefore, there will always be some differences. Just think of refueling, for example. In addition, the driving experience will change. Electric cars accelerate well, and the way traffic is perceived will certainly also change. People will drive more silently and cleaner. We will thoroughly examine all these aspects in our eight model regions.

The leading trade fair for electric mobility, eCarTec in Munich, is the first trade fair for electric mobility to be held in Germany. 195 international exhibitors and over 10,000 visitors came to visit the trade fair. Why do you, as the patron for enterprises, recommend participation in this trade fair?

It was impressive as to how many exhibitors and visitors joined last year's eCarTec. The public and a specialist audience are very much interested in this event. eCarTec presents a future market with a lot of potential. The developments in the field of electric mobility are moving fast. eCarTec gives all interested parties the opportunity to experience innovation. Last year's trade fair was also internationally appealing and provided an exciting platform for the exchange of experience, which in turn further promotes electric mobility.

At eCarTec, which will take place from October 19-21, 2010 at the New Munich Trade Fair, leading manufacturers will provide an overview of the current status of electric mobility. The trade show will feature electric vehicles, storage technology, drive and engine technologies, energy, infrastructure, and financing. An additional training area where experts and end consumers can test the latest electric vehicles and familiarize themselves with this technology is also incorporated. This trade fair focuses on developers, construction engineers, designers, managers, traders, car fleet managers, private car buyers, and decision makers from politics and public authorities. At its successful grand opening in 2009, eCarTec welcomed 195 companies and over 10,000 visitors. MATERIALICA - 13th international specialist trade fair for material applications, surfaces, and product engineering will take place alongside eCarTec. The large number of representatives from the automotive industry will promote a synergy effect between both trade fairs. MATERIALICA considers itself a link between the engineering and supply industries.

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