German eyes million electric cars by 2020 image

According to a report from the Associated Press (via, Germany is about to get serious about electric cars.

Germany launched a campaign Wednesday to put 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020, making battery research a priority as it tries to position the country as a market leader.

The program, which draws on euro500 million ($705 million) set aside in an economic stimulus package earlier this year but leaves many financing details up to the next government, drew criticism for being too vague.

“It is our aim to make Germany into the market leader for electric mobility,” Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said after the Cabinet approved the plan.

He said the 1 million target by 2020 “is an ambitious aim, but one that we believe can be realized.” Germany had more than 41 million cars on the road at the beginning of this year — only 1,452 of them electric cars.

Volkswagen AG has said it hopes to introduce its first electric cars on the market in 2013, while Daimler AG is working together with California-based electric car maker Tesla Motors on developing better battery and electric drive systems for vehicles destined for the consumer market.