Electric-Mobility and the Mobility Transition in Germany Study tour, May 5-10, 2019

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In a week-long visit to leading players in the fields of Electric Mobility and the “mobility transition”, several delegates from Egypt and Jordan exchanged experience on solutions being explored in respective countries. CEDARE aimed to share the perspective from Egypt and other countries in the Arab Region in continuation of the ongoing cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) hosting the program and a two-day congress.

Throughout the visit, meetings with parliamentarians, relevant public authorities, associations, including the German Federal Association for eMobility, and leading private sector players shed light on the plans, progress, and challenges in advancing eMobility in Germany. Among the highlights were the potentially game-changing plans for a widespread carsharing scheme of WeShare. Plans are to entirely operate with an EV fleet with 1,500 e-Golf cars within 2019. Various other entrepreneurial initiatives included Ubricity, installing charging solutions in urban light posts, Chargery, offering mobile (delivery) charging services that can be ordered from anywhere, other ideas related to battery swapping for e-bikes, among other various sharing or charging businesses and operational models.

Key take-aways from the experience included several important observations: EVs are seen as part of a large mix of solutions in Germany, where pedestrianization, and promotion of public transport and cycling, which are essential parallel measures. What is becoming a challenge today in Berlin, is the challenge of managing public space to cater to all of these priorities (e.g. e-scooter sharing, car-sharing, bike sharing, widening cycling lanes, installing car chargers, etc), as well as addressing the challenge of increasing needs for car parking space as well.

Secondly, the budgets allocated to EV promotion are substantial, whether from the government’s side, such as in the form of subsidies, or from the private sector. Investments by Volkswagen, as an example, to secure plans for the eMobility transition in manufacturing is reportedly 44 billion Euros, for securing resources for batteries, for revamping necessary factories, among other preparation needs. Such long-term planning approaches are necessary in order to adequately develop as strategy for Egypt.