In addition to electric cars, electric vehicles also include hybrid cars and fuel cell power generators, which use hydrogen to generate energy for the electric motor. The latter currently have the lowest penetration rates of the three types of propulsion, but according to the Greens are nevertheless promoted excessively.
Between 2008 and 2018, the German government directly supported the German automakers with a total of 537 million euros in research funding. Only a small part has gone into electromobility research, and most of it has gone into poorly successful projects such as the fuel cell. This emerges from the response of the Ministry of Transport on a small request of the Greens, the Dusseldorf Rheinische Post is present.
According to the letter for research and development projects in the passenger car sector, the federal government spent a total of 1.6 billion euros over the ten-year period. According to the Ministry of Andreas Scheuer (CSU), 1.3 billion euros of this amount went to e-mobility. However, the transport department also includes the purchase subsidies for electric cars or the promotion of autonomous driving. The Greens criticize the government for misusing most of the funding.
"It is striking that the Ministry of Transport has focused almost exclusively on the fuel cell in research funding, which has not yet prevailed in the market," said Green Group Vice Oliver Krischer. Greater technology openness would have been desirable.
"If there is research funding for the automakers, it must be clear that the resulting patents and results are available to all companies," Krischer continues. He also complained that the Ministry of Transport deceived in the promotion of electric mobility, as non-related projects were counted.
So far, fuel cell passenger cars have been supplied by Asian manufacturers, who are already offering the first production vehicles. With the GLC F-Cell also Mercedes-Benz has recently been a hydrogen car in the program, but the vehicle is now being built and rented in small series. Most expenditures for alternative propulsion are currently being used to research future models and build infrastructure.