BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday she wants to drastically increase the number of charging stations for electric cars in Germany to give consumers the confidence to switch over to electric from internal combustion engines.
Speaking in her weekly video podcast, Merkel said she wants Germany to have 1 million charging stations by 2030. Germany today has about 21,000 charging stations.
The comments come before her Monday meeting with automobile industry executives as part of efforts to help Germany’s transportation sector meet emissions targets.
In addition to talking about Germany’s charging infrastructure, Merkel says those at the meeting will discuss government and industry incentives for electric cars and how to protect auto industry jobs during the transition to producing more environmentally friendly vehicles. She said the development of hydrogen-powered cars can also play a role.
Germany is home to several major automobile manufacturers, including Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen, which includes subsidiaries Audi, Skoda and Porsche.
Volkswagen’s reputation was tarnished and its bottom line hit by a widely publicized diesel emissions cheating scandal that violated rules to protect air quality. But the Wolfsburg-based company is leading the push into electric vehicles in Europe, launching its ID.3 battery-powered compact car at prices it says will make zero-local emission vehicles a mass phenomenon.