Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to speed up Germany’s transition to electric vehicles, saying in an interview on Wednesday that efforts would need to be increased if a target of having a million such cars on the roads by 2020 were to be met.
With Germany’s largest industry struggling to mend its reputation after a diesel emissions scandal, Merkel said comments she had made in May had been misinterpreted as meaning she had abandoned the electrification target.
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“I haven’t abandoned the target,” she said in the interview on YouTube, six weeks before a federal election.
“It’s simply that we must do more, otherwise we won’t reach the goal.”
More work needed to be done to quickly build a network of car battery charging stations across the country, including retro-fitting them to street lamps and in car parks, she said in the interview.
Merkel said she would invite local governments to a meeting on Sept. 4 to discuss toxic emissions. Some 500 million euros ($585.65 million) or more would be made available to a planned fund to improve urban transport infrastructure, she said.
Merkel also expressed concern about whether auto companies were sufficiently innovative in the right areas.