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Representatives of EU countries on June 27th, 2013 decided to postpone a decision on limiting average fleet CO2 emissions to 95 g/km following heavy lobbying from German government officials. Germany, long seen as a leader in the effort to reduce global CO2 emissions and slow the progression of climate change, came out in strong opposition to the legislation which would have imposed strict new limits on automakers fearing that this would hinder the performance of a vibrant and vital part of the country’s economy. The deal looked to be set for an easy route through the EU legislators as recently as the beginning of that week, however, German Chancellor Angela Merkel took issue with the law which would see current limits tightened from 130 g/km down to 95 g/km over the next seven years.

Despite Germany’s hopes of blocking the law altogether, EU diplomats have voiced strong opposition to the country’s resistance and remain committed to seeing these new limits passed into law when it is once again up for debate this October.

Source: An article in Der Speigel

Recently released 2012 sales figures show little sign of public adoption for the struggling electric vehicle industry in Finland. The year saw the sale of a mere 33 units, with a vast majority of those vehicles going to public or corporate entities while private consumers purchased a total of two of the EVs sold in Finland. The country's dwindling EV sales figures are, relative to the market's size, largely in line with the prevailing trend throughout Europe over the last year, a trend which, despite the founding of numerous public subsidies and tax incentives as well as a strong push for electromobility among the continent's leaders, has, nonetheless led several automakers to significantly scale back their investment in the EV industry at present.

Source: "Sähköauto ei käy kaupaksi korkean hinnan takia" (In Finnish)

Read more: "What's stalling global EV development?"

 

Authorities from the respective standardization bodies of Germany and Italy have reached an agreement on a shared charging method for Type 2 electric vehicle charging. The two national authorities will propose to the CENELEC, European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, the adoption of a Type 2 socket outlet developed by German electric plug and connector manufacturer Menneke. This proposal signals the beginning of a crucial development in furthering electric vehicle adoption as the adoption of a single charging standard across the two countries would enable Italian and German electric vehicle owners to travel freely between the two countries without need for complicated or expensive adaptor plugs. Furthermore, the proposed standard Type 2 interface would also enable other EU countries to adopt the same standard, thereby unifying the charging infrastructure across a majority of the European continent. This process would be relatively simple as existing EU Commission standards have already established mandates for plugs, socket-outlets, vehicle connectors and vehicle inlets in an effort to enforce compliance with a unified EU charging standard.

Source: EV World: German, Italian Standards Bodies Agree on Common EV Plug

Despite German chancellor Angela Merkel’s reaffirmation of the government’s goal to bring one million electric vehicles to German roads by 2020, the country’s economy minister Philipp Roesler continues to oppose subsidization to encourage consumer purchases. On the heels of the failure of yet another high profile EV industry player, Israeli battery swapping company Better Place, the German government’s reluctance to adopt a EV-subsidy model widely supported by governments across the globe, from China to the US and even Finland, is yet another example in a disconcertingly widespread trend running through governments as well as auto industry companies, towards greater caution regarding the economic prospects of the EV market in the near future.

Source: Chicago Tribune - Merkel sticks to electric cars target despite setbacks

Read more: Whats stalling global EV development?

The Israeli electric vehicle infrastructure company Better Place announced on May 26th, 2013, that it would be filing for liquidation owing to the lack of strong electric vehicle sales to support demand for the company’s services. Following five years of ambitious development of its revolutionary concept for a gas station style concept for electric vehicle charging, one in which drivers would be able to stop by at a Better Place station and simply switch their battery out for a fully charged one and continue on their way within minutes, the Israeli company’s founder ultimately concluded that the EV market was not yet robust enough to create the level of demand necessary to justify the company’s continued operation. The company had received a total of over €650 million in private funding and had the strong support of the Israeli government, as well that of Denmark where the company had also expanded its network, yet was unable to generate a sufficient subscriber base for its €270 per month service.

Source: Israeli Venture Meant to Serve Electric Cars Is Ending Its Run

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