Germany’s Habeck: hitting EV sales target requires ‘tipping point’


  • Germany needs ‘tipping point’ to hit EV target: Habeck
  • Won’t reach 15 mln goal by 2030 if growth is linear
  • Technology, acceptance can grow in non-linear way, minister says

BERLIN, (Reuters) – Germany won’t hit its target of having 15 million EVs on the road by 2030 if sales develop in a linear fashion, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Monday, adding the right conditions could still create a tipping point for demand.

“The linear extrapolation of registrations leads to us not hitting the 15 million by 2030, that is true,” Habeck said in response to a question from reporters at an event in Berlin.

“But technical developments and, importantly, social acceptance do not develop in a linear way … sometimes there are tipping points,” he added, pointing to the circumstances which he said indicated such a tipping point could be close by: higher range, lower prices, and a faster growth in charging infrastructure.

“Perhaps we are coming closer to the point where e-mobility is… the new normal,” the minister said, speaking at Mercedes-Benz’s Marienfelde plant where he was given a tour of the carmaker’s digitalisation efforts.

Germany’s government stated in its coalition agreement that it aimed to have “at least 15 million fully electric passenger vehicles in 2030”, but Transport Minister Volker Wissing has since loosened the terms to include both electric and hybrid cars.

EV demand in Europe is slowing, which analysts attribute largely to uncertainty among consumers that EVs meet their requirements for safety, range and price.

The weak performance of Germany’s market is causing particular concern for carmakers, with the country’s growth rate in new electric car registrations slowing to 11.4% in 2023 from 30% the year before.

The latest available data from German federal motor authority KBA shows there were 2.2 million cars with an electric motor on German roads by October of 2023, of which 1.3 million were fully electric cars – a far cry from the 2030 target.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Christoph Steitz and Jonathan Oatis