Germany's government on Wednesday approved a "master plan" that aims to make the transition from fossil-fuel-driven cars to electric ones as user-friendly as possible by enabling electric vehicles to be charged more easily and faster.
The plan, which is to cost €6.6 billion ($6.17 billion) over the next three years, comes as the share of electric vehicles in Germany has grown to 14.6% of all newly registered automobiles, according to figures released by the country's motor vehicle authority.
The change to more climate-friendly vehicles is seen as playing a key role in achieving the government's climate targets for the transport sector.
What does the plan envisage?
The German government's goal is to have 1 million publicly accessible charging points in the country by 2030, up from the current 70,000.
The focus is to be on building them in local municipalities that are currently undersupplied, particularly in rural areas, where charging points can be even harder to find than in big cities.
The plan also foresees the provision of real estate where new charging stations can be built, particularly alongside highways.
Private owners of electric cars will be offered subsidies to help them install solar panels at their homes so their cars can be charged overnight.
The government wants also wants to ready the country's electric grid for the increased load that will be placed on it as the number of electric vehicles grows.
It aims to have 15 million electric vehicles on German roads by 2030 from around 1.5 million now. The EU wants to phase out internal combustion cars by 2035.
What has the transport minister said?
Presenting the plan after its approval, Transport Minister Volker Wissing said that Germany vitally needed charging infrastructure that "meets demand and is user-friendly."
"We are not just any automotive location, but a leading one in the world. And that's why it's important to us that what we're preparing succeeds well," he told reporters in Berlin.
"The world is watching us," the minister said.
Noting that the power grid would come under additional pressure as the number of electric vehicles increased, Wissing said that Germany "must prepare accordingly."
"Electric mobility will find acceptance if charging is as easy as refueling is today,"' he added.
tj/wmr (dpa, AP, Reuters)
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