Over the last few years, electric mobility has been the subject of lively discussions due to the availability of new, more powerful rechargeable batteries and the high volatility on the oil markets. Other political objectives have fed in to this as well such as reducing the dependency on oil, developing more efficient energy transformation and making significant CO2 reductions.
However, a series of challenges still have to be solved before electric mobility can be widely adopted. The lithium-ion battery is deemed to be the key technology today but this still has to be substantially improved with regard to costs, energy density, weight, speed of charging and cycle and calendar life. Introducing electric vehicles will also require the construction of charging infrastructure, which will need to be supported by suitable business models. Moreover it is imperative that electric mobility services are aligned to users’ needs and preferences in order for the technology to be taken up.
Policy support can make a decisive contribution to solving these challenges. However, political decisions need to take account of different dimensions such as economic efficiency (both socially and individually), climate protection, energy efficiency and other environmental issues.
The German government is already promoting various electric mobility research programmes and pilot projects, across different applications and aspects, but there is currently no comprehensive compilation of the available results. Building such an overall picture is essential for facilitating a wide-ranging discussion and evaluation of electric mobility and developing any decision about political objectives and measures in this context.
The Electric mobility concepts project aims to comprehensively process and summarise the current state of electric mobility research and development and to supplement this where necessary.
Based on this, an overall analysis and discussion of the various aspects and applications will then take place. This is of key importance for political decisions on strategies and measures, specifically the ecological, economic and social aspects of integrating electric mobility into our systems of transport. Conclusions and recommendations will be derived for the further development and promotion of electric mobility in Germany.
The following steps are planned:
The first part should establish the foundations for a comprehensive evaluation of electric mobility and thus provide the basis for well-informed political decisions. This starts with an extensive description and analysis of the technologies and applications considered, including their development potentials and both German and international technology activities. The focus here will be on vehicles with traction batteries (plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles). Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles are included for comparison. Promising market penetration scenarios and transport concepts for integrating electric mobility into today’s transport systems are described and analysed. The impacts of electric mobility on local authorities and cities are considered as is their role in introducing electric mobility. Finally, energy scenarios for the improved integration of fluctuating renewable energy sources due to the use of electric mobility are described and analysed.
A comprehensive evaluation of the described technologies, applications and development scenarios based on ecological, economic and social aspects is done in the second part of the project. The ecological sustainability evaluation considers criteria such as greenhouse gases, air pollutants and noise over the life-cycle of batteries and vehicles as well as critical raw materials. The assessment of the economic sustainability incorporates an analysis of the competitive situation between electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles including the options for developing a charging infrastructure. In addition, the opportunities and risks of shifts in the automotive value added chains and their impacts on Germany as an automobile producing country are identified as well as an analysis made of the effects of electric mobility on employment. The evaluation of the social sustainab