The Federal Cabinet passed the government programme on electric mobility on 18 May 2011. You can download information about the programme here (in German language only).
Cars "made in Germany" have been highly valued and in great demand throughout the world for over a hundred years. The industry employs millions of people. Cars play an important role for the German economy and for German technology. However, the combustion engines of today's cars emit gases that damage our climate and consume fossil fuels, which are in limited supply. The rise of electric mobility marks the turn of a technological era.
The gradual move towards electric road vehicles - from hybrid concepts to fully electrically powered cars - is making sustainable mobility a possibility. It offers an opportunity to reduce our dependence on oil and to minimize the emissions produced by road traffic.
The BMBF supports this development by providing targeted research funding and encouraging systematic exchange between academia and business. The BMBF plans to significantly increase its funding for the areas of batteries, overall energy management, and initial and continuing vocational training until the end of the current legislative period.
There are still considerable technological obstacles to overcome before electric vehicles can be brought to the market on a large scale. It is not enough to take a conventional car and replace the tank with a battery and the combustion engine with an electric motor. We must in fact "rethink the car". This requires an entirely new system approach. Completely new vehicle and battery concepts need to be developed, and the entire fuel refilling infrastructure needs to be designed from scratch. This requires a coordinated approach on the part of all stakeholders, particularly when it comes to the wide range of necessary research and development activities. The BMBF's research funding is making an important contribution to this.
We want Germany to become a leading provider of electric mobility solutions. By supporting a pilot production plant for lithium ion batteries, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is implementing one of the central demands of the National Electric Mobility Platform. The BMBF and the Lithium Ion Battery Competence Network (KLiB) agreed to build up such a production plant. The Lithium Ion Battery Competence Network is an association of businesses and institutions that conduct applied research. It aims to promote the cell and battery industry in Germany. The city of Ulm has developed into a centre of battery research, not least thanks to support from the BMBF. In addition to the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the University of Ulm, the city has been home to the Helmholtz Institute for Battery Research since the beginning of 2011.
The first electric car that is fully suited to everyday use was introduced into the Ministry's fleet on 19 April 2011. The E-Cell, a five-seat Mercedes A Class vehicle, has a range of over 200km and thus meets the requirements for use in the Ministry's fleet. The Federal Government's aim is to make Germany an innovation leader and a global lead supplier of electric mobility solutions.
The new Ulm Helmholtz Institute for Electrochemical Energy Storage (HIU) is the most recent building block in the long-term Electromobility Strategy. As a satellite of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Institute will build a bridge between basic and applied research. The aim is to promote battery research in cooperation with the University of Ulm, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). These four partners started working together in 2009 in the BMBF's network of centres of excellence in electrochemistry for electromobility in Southern Germany.
We want Germany to become a lead market for electric mobility solutions. Germany's leading role in research, science, the automotive industry and the supplier industry should be maintained as we move towards an "electrically mobile future". The aim of the National Electromobility Development Plan is to promote research and development, the commercial preparation, and the market launch of electric vehicles in Germany. Our target is to have a million electric cars on Germany's roads by 2020 at the latest. The measures addressed in the Federal Government's second economic stimulus package mark the beginning of these efforts.
The National Electric Mobility Platform was founded on 3 May 2010 in connection with a summit meeting with the Federal Chancellor on the subject of electric mobility. It includes all the major motor vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and other important companies, energy suppliers, research organizations and the relevant trade associations and trade unions. Specific issues are being discussed and concrete measures identified in seven working groups - drive technologies, batteries, power grid infrastructure, standardization, materials, young staff/qualification measures, and framework conditions.
The platform presented a first interim report to the Federal Government on 30 November 2010. It described the status quo in the area of electric mobility in Germany and issued initial recommendations on how to make Germany the leading provider of electric mobility solutions.
The Platform's second report was presented to the Federal Government on 16 May 2011. It highlights the links between electric mobility and renewable energy, which will help us to take full advantage of this technology's potential for mitigating climate change.
Production technologies for hybrid and electric drives with optimization targets relating to energy efficiency, reliability, production costs, recyclability, and high output and variant flexibility are supported under the call for Series-flexible technologies for electric drives for vehicles (in German language only).
The call for proposals on Energy-efficient and safe electric mobility (in German language only) addresses two central areas in our efforts to develop competitive electric vehicles: 1. intelligent management of the limited electric power in plug-in hybrid vehicles and fully electric vehicles, and 2. aspects of functional security, both at component level and at system level.
A systematic and integrated approach in research and development is a prerequisite for the success of electric mobility. That is why the BMBF is funding theFraunhofer project System Research Electromobility as part of the second economic stimulus package. The project is making it possible for the Fraunhofer Society to build up a research network with extensive system expertise and investigate all basic aspects of electric mobility simultaneously. The resulting know-how will be made available to the German automotive industry as quickly as possible.
Launched in 2009, the BMBF-funded Electric Mobility Forum in Berlin is an information and communication hub which brings together stakeholders from politics, business, academia and society. The forum has the important job of informing the general public about the subject of electric mobility with the help of exhibitions and events.
Research and training in the field of electrochemistry plays an important role in establishing a lead market for electric mobility in Germany, for example when it comes to developing powerful battery systems. Two research collaborations in the field of electrochemistry are being built up at leading universities and research establishments under the leadership of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Jülich Research Centre (FZJ). The aim of the measures is to improve the quality of research and teaching, expand the available capacities, and attract young research talent.
The National Electric Mobility Platform and the Federal Government agree that solid training and systematic vocational qualifications are the keys to the success of electric mobility. After all, everything depends on the people involved. If we really want Germany to become a lead provider of electric mobility solutions, we need well qualified experts. Many of those who will develop and build electric vehicles in the future are already in the workforce today and need to be qualified for this kind of work. To achieve this, vocational and academic training need to be linked more effectively. As a first concrete step, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has therefore taken the initiative of supporting a National Education Conference in Ulm.
The BMBF has launched the DRIVE-E Programme in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Society with the aim of encouraging young people studying technology-related subjects at universities and universities of applied sciences to pursue a career in the area of electric mobility. This is the first programme aimed at promoting young talent in the emerging field of electric mobility. The programme is to run for an initial period of three years and is aimed at students specializing in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, mechatronics, and related subjects. The DRIVE-E prize for innovative student work is awarded every year and the DRIVE-E Academy, a summer school for students, is also carried out on an annual basis. It gives experts an opportunity to present the latest developments and research results.
"Outstandingly qualified and highly motivated employees are the key to turning Germany into a lead provider of electric mobility solutions."
This core statement from the government programme on electromobility of 16 May 2011 forms the starting point of a systematic process launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It is based on the following questions: Are new occupational profiles needed in the field of electric mobility? Are our universities prepared to tackle this subject? How can we strengthen electrochemistry in Germany in a targeted way? How is industry contributing to these efforts? Can research funding help?
These and other questions were discussed at the first national education conference on electric mobility in Ulm on 28 and 29 June 2011. The conference was initiated by the BMBF on the recommendation of the National Electric Mobility Platform. It was the first ever meeting of stakeholders from all the relevant areas of academic and vocational education and training in the field of electric mobility. The conference confirmed the National Electric Mobility Platform's view that no special occupational profiles are necessary. However, the aim should be to standardize the contents of training programmes. This should be achieved by pooling existing activities and and linking them more effectively in order to avoid time-consuming and costly parallel developments. Although no new degree courses need to be introduced at universities, interdisciplinary cooperation should be enhanced, for example between mechanical engineering, vehicle manufacturing and electrical engineering. A more comprehensive summary of the conference is available here (in German language only).
Deutsche Version dieser Seite
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- in German language only - (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/pubRD/lenkungskreis_npe.pdf)
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- in German language only - (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/pubRD/arbeitskreis_npe.pdf)