German car-makers to invest 60 billion euros in electric cars and automation

An electric car is charging at the charging station at the front of the German utility E.ON headquarters in Essen, Germany. (Reuters pic)

FRANKFURT: Germany’s car industry is to invest nearly 60 billion euros (US$68 billion) over the next three years on electric cars and automated driving, the head of the VDA car industry association said ahead of the Geneva motor show.

“We will invest over 40 billion euros in electric mobility during the next three years, and another 18 billion euros will be invested in digitisation and connected and automated driving,” VDA president Bernhard Mattes said in a statement on Saturday.

The range of electric car models from German manufacturers would treble to around 100 in that period, he said.

The Geneva International Motor Show, where manufacturers showcase their latest models and concepts, runs from Mar 7 to 17.

“The ramp-up of electric mobility is coming in Europe,” Mattes said. “Without it, the EU’s CO2 targets cannot be achieved by 2030,” he added, calling for what he called appropriate regulatory conditions across Europe.

Germany, together with a few other major European economies, is set to have a much higher share of electric vehicles among its new registrations than the EU average, he said.

Charging infrastructure for electric cars must be expanded and incentives offered to buyers of e-cars, he said.