Future Technologies and Europe
The introduction of electric vehicles into road transportation and prospectively also into other transportation areas represents an important part of sustainable energy and transportation policy. Electric vehicle driving systems are energy efficient and offer the opportunity to use energy from renewable sources in the transportation sector. Thus, they cannot only make an important contribution to reducing emissions from greenhouse gases and airborne pollutants harming the climate, but reduce dependence on fossil fuels such as petroleum.
In order to realise and meet the challenging climate protection goals in the transportation sector, it is not sufficient to shift transportation to rail, to use bio-fuels or to implement traffic avoidance measures. Only when a substantial percentage of electric cars are used will it be possible to successfully accomplish the required CO2 reductions.
However, electric mobility also poses numerous technical and organisational challenges: Electric vehicles represent a reinvention of the automobile which affects all systems of storage, controlling and use of energy. Batteries with high capacities and useful lives at affordable costs constitute the biggest hurdle in this regard. For an efficient use of e-vehicles, electric mobility and energy systems must be intelligently linked with each other. Such development is a matter not only of supplying the necessary energy for the vehicle to meet the respective requirements, but of simultaneously integrating fluctuating energy sources (e.g. wind and solar energy) into the energy networks in a more effecient and reliable way.
Broad-based user acceptance must be developed for electric mobility. This can be attained by, among other ways, ensuring that a sufficient number of charging stations is available and the performance of batteries improved.
As project manager mandated by various German federal and state ministries, we are responsible for research and demonstration programmes in the area of electric mobility and conduct concomitant and impact research as well as evaluations of the funded programmes in the area of electric mobility. Organisationally, we support our customers during national and international conferences on electric mobility for which we also do technical preparatory work. We advise the European Commission as well as industry networks and serve on the relevant committees of the European Commission. In addition, we are responsible for the worldwide exchange of information for the Technology Collaboration Programme (previously: Implementing Agreement) for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles of the International Energy Agency.