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Blog | 28. Februar 2017

BERLIN: CAPITAL OF ELECTROMOBILITY

Every now and then a red e-scooter zips down a narrow street, whizzing past a car-sharing company’s electric car as it charges in an on-street parking bay outside a classic, Wilhelminian Berlin apartment building. At the same time a teacher exits the building opposite and swings his legs over the crossbar of an electric bike, setting off on his four-kilometer ride to school through the city’s morning rush hour. Welcome to Berlin – Germany’s biggest testing ground for electromobility.

CAR-SHARING, E-SCOOTERS, ELECTRIC BIKES – BERLIN IS TURNING THE VOLUME DOWN

No other region in Germany has as many low-noise electric vehicles on its streets as the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region. Roughly 3,500 electric vehicles are in operation every single day, and by 2025 the Berlin Agency for Electromobility predicts that the number of electric vehicles registered in the city will increase by a further 30 percent. And it’s the city’s businesses that are taking the lead in the use of battery-powered vehicles – they own and operate 75 percent of the electric vehicles on Berlin’s roads. The local water company, for example, has 21 electric vehicles – almost ten percent of its entire fleet. And the car-sharing company, Multicity, has an impressive 250 Citroen C-Zeros, all powered by renewable energy. Then there’s the joint venture between Sixt DE and BMW, which has now added BMW’s I3 electric model to its DriveNow fleet. The I3 is the Munich car company’s first ever electric vehicle. Opel’s response to BMW, the Ampera-e, is coming this year, and Mercedes has launched a new model, based on its mid-sized SUV GLC, powered by a combination of battery-power and hydrogen.

Other forms of battery-powered transportation are also gaining in popularity. The e-scooter company Emio in Schöneberg has 150 bright red scooters spread around the city’s commuter rail stations, all of which can be located and rented via smartphone app. The major benefit for users – at 19 cents per kilometer, the scooters are even cheaper than car-sharing. Electric power is also playing an increasingly important role in the logistics sector, especially when it comes to the so-called last mile, the final leg of a route to a consumer’s delivery address. In order to reach customers from its distribution center on Kurfürstendamm, the US retail giant Amazon is increasingly dispatching couriers on electric cargo bikes. Berlin’s Senate is convinced that electric bikes have a great future in the consumer sector, and points to the large number of commuters already using them to cover the distances between home and work and the city’s rail stations. Right now, the Berlin metropolitan region proudly boasts between 80,000 and 100,000 e-bikes across the region.

So what are Berlin’s public transport companies doing to improve the environment? The BVG, which runs the city’s subway, bus and tram lines, has been testing Solaris Urbino 12 electric buses on its 204 bus route between Zoologischer Garten and Südkreuz for the past 12 months. The buses operate with a cable-free, inductive charging system. And this is just one of the many projects in Berlin-Brandenburg that are currently being funded by the International Electromobility Showcase program. Federal and state governments, along with businesses, have pumped a great deal money into the program since 2013 – and total funding has now reached €76 million.

BERLIN’S ROAD TO A GREEN FUTURE

Drivers who decide to buy an electric car are not only making a significant contribution to the environmental future of their city – they are also securing long-term savings for their households’ budgets. The federal government currently subsidizes the purchase of an electric car to the tune of EUR 4,000, and offers additional financial support every time a vehicle is charged. Cars can easily be powered by renewable energy, at a cost of less then €4.00 per 100 kilometers, according to calculations published by the Federal Ministry of the Environment. Berlin’s Senate is also digging deep into its pockets as it promotes electromobility. The city’s politicians have approved €6.5 million of funding to set up 1,100 new charging stations, adding to the 636 that are already available across Berlin. For drivers in a hurry, there are even seven charging stations in Berlin that offer “fast charging.” They can charge their cars to 80 percent capacity In just 30 minutes – more than enough power for a trip to the shops.

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Blog | 28. Februar 2017

BERLIN: CAPITAL OF ELECTROMOBILITY

Every now and then a red e-scooter zips down a narrow street, whizzing past a car-sharing company’s electric car as it charges in an on-street parking bay outside a classic, Wilhelminian Berlin apartment building. At the same time a teacher exits the building opposite and swings his legs over the crossbar of an electric bike, setting off on his four-kilometer ride to school through the city’s morning rush hour. Welcome to Berlin – Germany’s biggest testing ground for electromobility.

CAR-SHARING, E-SCOOTERS, ELECTRIC BIKES – BERLIN IS TURNING THE VOLUME DOWN

No other region in Germany has as many low-noise electric vehicles on its streets as the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region. Roughly 3,500 electric vehicles are in operation every single day, and by 2025 the Berlin Agency for Electromobility predicts that the number of electric vehicles registered in the city will increase by a further 30 percent. And it’s the city’s businesses that are taking the lead in the use of battery-powered vehicles – they own and operate 75 percent of the electric vehicles on Berlin’s roads. The local water company, for example, has 21 electric vehicles – almost ten percent of its entire fleet. And the car-sharing company, Multicity, has an impressive 250 Citroen C-Zeros, all powered by renewable energy. Then there’s the joint venture between Sixt DE and BMW, which has now added BMW’s I3 electric model to its DriveNow fleet. The I3 is the Munich car company’s first ever electric vehicle. Opel’s response to BMW, the Ampera-e, is coming this year, and Mercedes has launched a new model, based on its mid-sized SUV GLC, powered by a combination of battery-power and hydrogen.

Other forms of battery-powered transportation are also gaining in popularity. The e-scooter company Emio in Schöneberg has 150 bright red scooters spread around the city’s commuter rail stations, all of which can be located and rented via smartphone app. The major benefit for users – at 19 cents per kilometer, the scooters are even cheaper than car-sharing. Electric power is also playing an increasingly important role in the logistics sector, especially when it comes to the so-called last mile, the final leg of a route to a consumer’s delivery address. In order to reach customers from its distribution center on Kurfürstendamm, the US retail giant Amazon is increasingly dispatching couriers on electric cargo bikes. Berlin’s Senate is convinced that electric bikes have a great future in the consumer sector, and points to the large number of commuters already using them to cover the distances between home and work and the city’s rail stations. Right now, the Berlin metropolitan region proudly boasts between 80,000 and 100,000 e-bikes across the region.

So what are Berlin’s public transport companies doing to improve the environment? The BVG, which runs the city’s subway, bus and tram lines, has been testing Solaris Urbino 12 electric buses on its 204 bus route between Zoologischer Garten and Südkreuz for the past 12 months. The buses operate with a cable-free, inductive charging system. And this is just one of the many projects in Berlin-Brandenburg that are currently being funded by the International Electromobility Showcase program. Federal and state governments, along with businesses, have pumped a great deal money into the program since 2013 – and total funding has now reached €76 million.

BERLIN’S ROAD TO A GREEN FUTURE

Drivers who decide to buy an electric car are not only making a significant contribution to the environmental future of their city – they are also securing long-term savings for their households’ budgets. The federal government currently subsidizes the purchase of an electric car to the tune of EUR 4,000, and offers additional financial support every time a vehicle is charged. Cars can easily be powered by renewable energy, at a cost of less then €4.00 per 100 kilometers, according to calculations published by the Federal Ministry of the Environment. Berlin’s Senate is also digging deep into its pockets as it promotes electromobility. The city’s politicians have approved €6.5 million of funding to set up 1,100 new charging stations, adding to the 636 that are already available across Berlin. For drivers in a hurry, there are even seven charging stations in Berlin that offer “fast charging.” They can charge their cars to 80 percent capacity In just 30 minutes – more than enough power for a trip to the shops.

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