merkel-evs-solarGermany, the global leader in solar energy, doesn’t want to be left behind in the race to electrify the automobile. Furthermore, it wants to ensure not only that it electrifies a meaningful portion of its auto fleet in the next decade, but that this electric fleet also plugs into a national grid powered as much as possible by renewable energy forms.

This was made clear by an announcement by Chancellor Angela Merkel that the country intends to have one million electric vehicles on its roads by 2020. Merkel made the announcement last week at the first Electro-Mobility Summit in Berlin. The conference brought together 400 leaders from the German government, auto industry and the electro-mobility technology branch.

The German government will fund EV development and production with a 500 million euro (US$637 million) investment.

Germany was the birthplace of the automobile and maintained outstanding quality in production during the 21st century. The country should continue the standard into the 21st century, said Merkel at the summit, according to a UPI.com story.

Merkel also declared at the Electro-Mobility Summit that the electric vehicle fleet needs to be powered by sustainable sources in the future.

It is important “that in the 21st century we are again the nation that is able to build the most intelligent and environmentally friendly cars,” she said.

Germany is an “excellent position” to lead the field of electric vehicles among the international community, said Merkel, according to a government press release.

Merkel also declared at the Electro-Mobility Summit that the electric vehicle fleet needs to be powered by sustainable sources in the future.

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Germany is playing catch-up to Japanese and American governments and auto makers, who have already started rolling out electric vehicles. Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen are testing EVs, but are behind the U.S. and Japan in production, according to a story on The Globe and Mail website.

BMW is the only company out three to have set plans for an EV, with its Megacity line coming out in 2013.

Merkel stressed the importance of education in developing the technology for electric mobility. She encouraged students to pursue science and tech-based careers at universities to support the future of EVs in the country.

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