North Rhine-Westphalia to become model region for electric transport

2 March 2009

North Rhine-Westphalia is leading the charge to scale up electric transport in Germany.

The Government of North Rhine-Westphalia has announced that it will support the Federal Government's National Development Plan for Electric Mobility. This plan calls explicitly on states to provide 'field trials' to speed up research and production of electric transportation.

The NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy has agreed to earmark an additional ?60 million to speed up the development of electrical transport, when the Federal Government launches its proposed electric mobility funding programmes.

The Ministry made the announcement after a February meeting attended by Ministers along with representatives of the business and research community.

Cornerstones of a state strategy to promote electrically-powered transportation, focussing on electricity storage, automotive engineering and network integration, were also discussed.

Economic Minister Christa Thoben said, "We believe it is vitally urgent that electric cars conquer our streets, and that everyone becomes aware of this new technology."

NRW, she added, is "an ideal place to carry out field studies." The state is a centre of German automotive production; it is also the nation's largest producer of energy.

Environment Minister Eckhard Uhlenberg underscored the environmental benefits of electrically-powered transport: "Major population centres will benefit hugely from a reduction in particulate and nitrogen oxide emission."

Luc Bas, The Climate Group's Head of European Government Relations, welcomed the Government's decision.

"The Climate Group is supportive of regional governments in their efforts to implement and deploy low carbon technologies.

"With this announcement, North Rhine-Westphalia is setting an example that will be an important impetus for other European regional governments to start scaling up action."

North Rhine-Westphalia is a partner of The Climate Group's States and Regions programme, which commits governments to lead the low carbon economy by example.

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