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Munich, Germany Parlays Reputation for Car Culture into Electric Vehicle Leadership

Munich, synonymous with German auto culture, races toward the future of electric cars

Read more on Munich’s economic development agency, City of Munich Department of Labor and Economic Development here: http://www.locations4business.com/europe/germany/bavaria–bayern-/munich-munchen/munich-city-department-for-work-and-business/

Munich, Germany and luxury car culture are concepts so intertwined, it is difficult to imagine one without the other. With Munich as the capital of the Bavarian home of BMW and Audi, among many other automotive-sector leaders, it is not surprising to discover that Munich is also leading the way in innovating on electric car technology and is introducing consumer-ready electric cars to the market.

Munich: Electronic Mobility Pioneer

Designated as a 2009-2011 model region for electronic vehicles by the German government, Munich participated in a federal funding initiative promoting and supporting electromobility. Some of the programmes implemented as a part of the project included Munich public transport experimenting with hybrid buses, and most notably, automakers BMW and Audi launching fleet tests of their prototype BMW Mini E and Audi A1 e-tron vehicles.

The current BMW ActiveE is a demonstration electric car based on the BMW 1-series and the second after the Mini E to be developed under BMW’s Project i. BMW is set to launch its first electric car, the long-awaited i3 Megacity Vehicle in 2013.

The Audi project puts the carmaker into partnership with Munich’s municipal utility company Stadtwerke München (SWM) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) who have worked together to launch 20 Audi A1 e-tron car models onto Munich’s roads. In addition to getting these electric cars on the road, the project also dealt with data transfer and smartphone interface technology to make the human-machine interface issues more seamless. As a part of the infrastructure to support the scheme, E.ON and SWM have installed the charging stations required to keep the electric auto fleet up and running. (And the project would not be complete without ensuring that all electricity supplying the fleet came from renewable sources!) With the data gathered from the trials, the partners can make the case that it is not a matter of if electromobility is adopted but when – and Munich is at the forefront of the mass-market electromobility adoption efforts.

Munich’s Electronic, Environmentally Friendly Future

The follow-up to being named a model region consists of a German federal programme, Schaufenster Elektromobilität (Electronic Vehicle Showcase) that has selected Bavaria and Saxony as two of four focus regions, which will receive 180 million EUR through 2015 for continued development efforts. Munich, meanwhile, will lead a project that aims to investigate and execute programmes for adding electric transport options into local enterprises’ vehicle fleets.

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