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German chancellor stands by one-million EVs target despite slow sales

Angst or no angst, Germany's government is sticking to its estimate for at least 1 million electric vehicles to be on the country's roads by the end of the decade, Reuters says, despite the fact that fewer than 3,000 EVs were sold in Germany last year.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed the goal as the government conducted a two-day industry conference highlighting advanced-powertrain technology in Berlin. Merkel said cooperation with other European countries on cleaner powertrains and infrastructure investments will be key to reaching the 2020 goal. The German automobile industry will invest more than $15 billion in advanced-powertrain development within the next four years, according to industry group VDA.

Earlier this month, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer used the term "German angst" to describe what he said was the country's unwillingness to embrace plug-in vehicles. BMW will start sales of the i3 EV later this year, though Reithofer himself has said European emissions standards set for 2020 will be "impossible" to meet without further government funding for technology advancements.

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