BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to discuss the further expansion of electromobility on German roads with the automotive industry on Monday (1 p.m.). Representatives of manufacturers and suppliers, trade unions and works councils as well as the energy sector, science and environmental associations are expected to attend the top-level meeting in Berlin. The discussion will focus on how to achieve the target of 15 million electric cars by 2030 and how to support a further market ramp-up of battery-powered models.

The German government had made it clear in advance that electric vehicles should be competitive and achieve a breakthrough on the market. The focus is also on range and lower prices. There are currently just over one million pure electric cars registered in Germany - out of a total of more than 48 million passenger cars.

Hardly any new e-cars for under 30,000 euros

Many people are still holding back when it comes to e-cars, explained the ADAC. "Uncertainties about fluctuating electricity prices, hardly affordable vehicles, long delivery times and sometimes a lack of charging facilities are all contributing factors." In Germany, customers can only get three models for less than 30,000 euros, criticized the club, which represents millions of drivers.

This also disturbs the ecologically oriented Verkehrsclub Deutschland. German manufacturers should offer more small e-cars, it demanded. "The companies are still resting on their laurels with e-cars in the SUV and luxury segment." The environmental organization BUND expressed a similar view. Affordable vehicles with low energy and resource requirements for normal earners are coming onto the market too slowly, Jens Hilgenberg, Head of Transport Policy, told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). "This is where federal policy is required and must intervene with regulatory measures."

Anyone who buys or leases a purely electric car for private use can receive an environmental bonus from the state and manufacturers. This year the claim is still up to 6750 euros, next year up to 4500 euros. The ADAC called for the claim to be continued despite budget shortfalls. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Affairs pointed out that the market would of course have to be self-supporting in the end. State purchase premiums as start-up financing have always been designed to be phased out gradually.

Climate surcharge for combustion engines?

The President of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Dirk Messner, spoke out in favor of a reform of the vehicle tax. "In future, climate-damaging cars should be subject to a climate surcharge when they are newly registered. This would make climate-friendly cars more attractive," Messner told the German Press Agency at the weekend. "The money raised could be used for purchase premiums for e-cars, for example, and would not have to come from the climate and transformation fund."

The environmental organization Greenpeace called for something similar. It presented a study it had commissioned: If oil consumption in road traffic in Germany continued to fall as slowly as it has since 2000, this climate-damaging energy source would not disappear from the roads until 2120, according to the study.

According to the head of the UBA, it would also be helpful if private driving in company cars was no longer tax-privileged. "The diesel privilege, i.e. the preferential tax treatment of diesel, should also be abolished."

Group bosses call for better infrastructure

VW Group CEO Oliver Blume cited poor framework conditions as the reason for the sluggish expansion of electromobility. "We need a better charging infrastructure, especially in cities," he told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper. Opel CEO Florian Huettl also called for a rapid expansion of the charging network. "To achieve the German government's target of one million publicly accessible charging points by 2030, we need ten times as many new charging points," he told the newspaper.

Second top-level meeting with Scholz

The meeting at the Chancellery, which will also be attended by several ministers, is the second meeting of the "Strategy Platform Transformation of the Automotive and Mobility Industry" following an initial consultation in January.

According to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, a "major effort" is required to achieve 15 million e-cars by 2030. But it would be worth it. "If we don't achieve the climate targets in the transport sector, it will be expensive." Germany would then have to buy additional pollution rights at EU level. "That can quickly run into the billions."

In view of the challenge, the German Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal Association criticized the fact that the transport industry had not been invited to the Chancellery. One third of carbon dioxide emissions in the transport sector are thus being ignored./sam/svv/bf/DP/zb