The municipal level is the basis. That’s where the people live. They even feel a direct benefit of electric mobility due to better air quality and less noise. NOW GmbH supports the cities and municpalities in adapting concepts for public and private local transport to their circumstances. For example, we coordinate the accompanying research as well as the exchange of results among all participants. We also involve and support industrial companies with research and development projects that serve to optimise vehicles and promote innovative drive systems.
Through its “Local electric mobility” (“Elektromobilität vor Ort”) funding programme (the BMVI’s electric mobility funding guideline), the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is supporting the collaboration of industry, science and the public sector in further driving forward the market ramp-up of electric mobility and in anchoring it in everyday life.
The BMVI provides subsidies for the procurement of electric vehicles as well as the charging infrastructure required for their operation. Municipal fleets, vehicles and charging infrastructure that are used in a municipal environment are funded, as well as the establishment of application-oriented municipal electric mobility concepts. Procurement funding is issued under the “Clean air” immediate action programme within “Standard funding for local electric mobility”. The concept funding is particularly oriented towards municipalities that receive no master plan funding from the “Clean air 2017-2020” immediate action programme.
Aside from this kind of investment funding, the ministry also supports research and development that is open to all kinds of technology and to all modes of transport on core electric mobility issues. Together with the BMVI’s overarching accompanying research (coordinated through the NOW) on the programme, insights on the funding programme level can be gained and absorbed. In addition market requirements can be reacted to in a targeted way within the programme (including in the form of annual funding calls).
Accompanying Research in the Electric Mobility Programme
The BMVI’s accompanying research represents a key component of the programme’s implementation. Its goals are the amalgamation and evaluation of project results from all three funding areas (vehicle procurement, electric mobility concepts and R&D projects). A regular exchange takes place together with all participating companies and organisations. It is the network for knowledge transfer on the project and programme levels and thereby makes an important contribution to integrating the individual results of projects into the overall programmatic level. It was adjusted to market requirements in the context of the publication of the 2015 electric mobility funding guideline. With the clear goal of supporting the market ramp-up, four important thematic fields were established, which constitute the pillars of the ongoing accompanying research to the programme.
There has been a focus on the bus vehicle class within the topic of “Innovative drives and vehicles” over the past few years. The invitation to tender and commissioning of the accompanying research “Innovative drives in road-based local public transport” took place in 2018. The consortium, comprised of thinkstep, Ingenieurgruppe IVV, Fraunhofer IVI, VCDB VerkehrsConsult Dresden Berlin, hySOLUTIONS and SEK Consulting, began in the autumn. The focus of the accompanying research in terms of content is on the one hand, monitoring, and on the other, the evaluation of the use of electric buses currently in operation which have been funded by the BMVI through comprehensive data acquisition. The specific determination of the data points to be collected was already established in 2017 in the framework of “Minimal data sets for the survey of research data in electric mobility”.
The focus of the accompanying research is not just on battery buses. Fuel cell buses will also be examined. The data collected will be evaluated comprehensively. Evaluations of the respective bus operators will be made available. Of particular relevance here are the availability, energy consumption and real range of the buses, among other factors. In addition, in terms of data evaluation, data from research and development projects as well as electric mobility concepts with a focus on local electric mobility will be taken into account.
Examining the correlation between market development and political and societal framework conditions for electric mobility is the focus of the accompanying research: “Framework conditions and market”. How do funding programmes, market incentives, privileges, societal discourse and societal developments impact the spread of electric vehicles? To answer these questions, the accompanying research analyses market development in Germany and in selected international markets. In addition it monitors and evaluates the implementation and impact of political funding programmes and incentives as well as societal framework conditions. Furthermore the research addresses mobility behaviour and mobility needs of potential customers from private, public and municipal areas. This is in the context of the question of how electric mobility can already today serve user needs and where using electric vehicles is already worthwhile from an operational and financial point of view. The consortium, commissioned in 2016 to undertake the accompanying research “Framework conditions and market”, comprising TÜV Rheinland, The Institute for Innovation and Technology and KIT, presented its final report in July 2018. The report shows that when compared internationally, Germany cannot yet fulfil its aspiration to be lead market with regard to electric vehicle stock numbers and new vehicle registrations.
Things are different when it comes to the ratio of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. In this regard Germany is well-positioned when compared internationally, with a ratio of 5.5 electric vehicles per charging point. In terms of market potential for the latest battery-electric vehicles, it has been shown that despite known restrictions (higher procurement costs, limited range), the latest electric vehicles can fulfil existing mobility needs and are economically viable. Over the course of the accompanying research, the Electric Mobility Act (Elektromobilitätsgesetz -EmoG) was implemented for the first time by municipalities systematically.
The “Networked Mobility” thematic area of accompanying research has set itself the task of, on the one hand, investigating the networking of various electric mobility applications and different modes of transport. On the other hand, it also examines the networking between electric mobility and the energy industry with regard to the increasing number of electric vehicles. The aim of this thematic field is to build up and expand competencies at the municipal level.
As part of municipal mobility strategies, the networking of various electric mobility applications and different modes of transport will be examined in detail and a catalogue of measures compiled. The linking of the transport sector with the energy system will be discussed on the basis of the stakeholders comprising municipalities, municipal utility companies, distribution network operators and transport companies. Both areas will be supplemented by the experiences gained from the municipal electric mobility concepts as well as from the municipal perspective on the basis of the city survey.