While France, working with the Japanese companies, will have electric cars on the market this year, German automakers have been slower to move away from fossil fuels, according to Frank Müller, CEO of the German e-Mobility Association. With the exception of Daimler's Elektro-Smart, no German electric car will be ready before 2012. “The German auto industry has a lot of expertise in diesel engines,” said Müller. “They've made a lot of investments into these engines, and they want to profit from them before they make new investments.”
Carmakers counter that the issue is complex. Daimler cites an experimental e-mobility project already underway in Berlin and a commitment to developing a lithium-ion battery among their current investments in e-mobility. “Until electric driven vehicles can take an important share in the car-market, many questions have to be clarified. Economy, politics, sciences have to co-operate,” wrote Dan von Appen, in the research, development, and environmental communications department at Daimler-Benz. “We are convinced that many different technological solutions will be in use in parallel for a long time.”
Right now, according to Müller, the French government has invested three times as much into electric cars and infrastructure as the Germans. So e-mobility is the exception to the green German rule? “Right,” said Müller.