Mobility Basic Figures

Geographical Extent
No. Passenger Cars
No. Road Goods Vehicles
No. Busses/Coaches
Length Road Network


Source: EU energy and transport in figures - Statistical pocketbook, 2010

357,111 km²
82.002 mill. (2008)
41.321 mill. (2008)
2.523 mill. (2008)
75,300 (2008)
231,194 km (2008)
12,594 km (2008)

Status Quo

In 2009 with a total emission of 981.3 million tons of CO2 equivalents, Germany fell below the billion level for the first time. With about 140 mill tonnes CO2 in 2007 the road traffic in Germany had a more than 95% share on the emissions of the entire transport sector as well as a nearly 15% share on total emissions. The TREMOD calculation model developed by the IFEU Institute in Heidelberg on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency and the German Association of Vehicle Manufactures shows however that the absolute emission as well as the relative emission per vehicles has however considerable decrease between 1990 and 2005; further reduction can be expected for the coming years. Currently, around 30 percent of the passenger cars only meet the requirements of the Euro 2 exhaust level or below. If all vehicles fulfil the requirements of the most recent Euro 4 exhaust level, particle emissions could be reduced by 87 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions could be reduced by half.

The share of clean passenger cars is still relatively low with about 1.1% (including hybrit). The following table provided by the German Federal Office for vehicle registration at 1.1.2011 shows the detailed figures of registered passenger cars according to there engine technology:

Federal State








































































Lower Saxony
















































































According to data collection within the EU funded project MADEGASCAR for 2009 in Germany there are about 3,000 biogas cars but no biogas busses used in public transport or heavy duty vehicles. Currently there are 17 passenger car models and 8 light duty vehicles available on the market that run with CNG/biogas. The number of pure electro vehicles is marginal (less than 0,1%) as well as the volume of hybrid vehicles is less than 0,5%, nearly all passenger cars (in 2008 3,407 hybrid vehicles from the type Toyota Prius were sold; in 2009 a reduction of 8% to this figure was observable). The share of non conventional clean vehicles strongly differs from federal state to federal state owe to differences in the infrastructure for refuelling as well as the different aid/promotion programmes. I.e. Lower Saxony is on top with regard to vehicles running with fossil CNG and biomethan with a rate 30.5 of those vehicles from 10,000 new vehicles showing a high dense refuelling network and several federal financial incentive programmes whereas Saxony shows the lowest rate with 12.3 not having implemented specific incentive instruments or infrastructure.

A survey in 2006 shows that 97.8 % of a total of buses are diesel buses. About 60% of them were equipped with particulate filters. The whole bus fleet has travelled in total 1,885 million kilometres and consumed thereby 772.4 million litres diesel. From these 772.4 million litres 98.2 % are fossil diesel, which represent 758.3 million litres. 1.3 % are biodiesel, 0.4 % PPO and 0,1 % synthetic diesel. In the end of 2006 the aggregated number of CNG buses among in Germany amounted to some 800 buses in use, that means about 2% of the total bus fleet. Nearly all CNG buses were using fossil CNG. Until now in Germany only very few hybrid or hydrogen buses are in use. They are about 10 hybrid buses in some pilot projects and a few hydrogen buses in the city of Hamburg.

By 2006 Germany had already achieved the 2010 target to ncrease in the proportion of biofuels to 5.75% of total fuel consumption, with biofuels accounting for 6.3% of total fuel consumption in relation to energy content. The share of fossil CNG and biomethan are however with 0.3% very low far away from the 2010 target value of 4% (the 2010 target of 1% is tackled only by 1/3). The main problem is first of all the low number of goods vehicles and buses using fossil CNG and biomethan, although the vehicle technology is well proven.

The German Government has established in 2010 the so-called National Platform for Electro Mobility (NPE). The NPE is a technical steering board of public authorities, public research organisations and car manufactures bundling the technical know how in the field of electro mobility. The NPE consults the policy sector regarding efficient policy strategies and measures promoting electro mobility as well as coordinates the joint research activities in the field of electro mobility partly funded by the German Government (National Plan for Electro Mobility). The NPE has developed a strategical plan for introducing one mill. electro vehicles in Germany until 2020. The required level for public investments and subventions are calculated with about 3.8 mill EUR.

Recent survey shows that in Germany car buyers have a strong interest on electro vehicles. About 37% of the core target group for these vehicles have the aim purchasing those vehicles within the coming years. About 50% of this group is ready to pay up to 4,000 EUR more for those vehicles as for the conventional one.

Fuelling Infrastructure

In Germany there is a dense network of refuelling stations for various kinds of biofuels. In the European Environmental Atlas there are listed about 94 refuelling stations offering E85, about 2,200 offering fossil CNG (about 900 have public access; the dense of refuelling station strongly differs from federal state to federal state) (on there are currently listed 5,800 autogas refuelling stations), about 340 methanol refuelling stations and about 1,230 bio-diesel refuelling stations. About 385 of the fossil CNG and biomethan refuelling stations are located on federal highways. According to data collection within the EU funded project MADEGASCAR for 2009 in Germany there 56 biogas refilling stations for cars.

The first public service station in Germany serving biogas from renewable sources was opened in Jameln /Wendland on June 2006. The construction was funded by the BMELV (German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection) as part of the project “REGION AKTIV” with a t total investment of 100,000 Euro.

According to the database, there are currently about 20 vehicle hydrogen refuelling facilities in operation, partly offering public access (most of them are related to pilot or research project in vehicle technology of large vehicle manufactures. A number of new stations are in construction or in planning stage).

According to the website there are 896 recharging station for electric vehicles in Germany.

National Support Instruments for Clean Vehicles

Fiscal incentives:

The reform of the vehicle tax schema (Kfz-Steuer) entered into force in 2009. Vehicles are taxed now on basis of vehicles CO2-Emission and cubic capacity.

The new tax schema is applicable for all cars which are used after 1 July 2009:

  • There is a tax of 2 EUR per each 100 cm³ or each part of for conventional petrol cars and 9,5 EUR for diesel cars
  • A basis volume of 120 g/km CO2-Emission is tax free until 2011 and each addition g/km is taxed with 2 EUR.
  • Owners of diesel cars with an emission standard Euro 6 enjoy a tax exemption of 150 EUR per year between 2011 and 2013.
  • Owners of new passenger vehicles fulfilling Euro 4 standard which are registered between 5 November 2008 and 30 June 2009 enjoy a one year tax free grace period. If the vehicle fulfilling Euro 5 or Euro 6 standard the grace period is prolonged with an additional year.
  • Cars with a first registration until the November 4th 2008 will be taxed as before until December 31st 2012. Upon 2013 they will be included in the new vehicle tax schema.

Electro vehicles are charged according to different weight classes. Light goods vehicles until 7,5 tons loading capacity will be taxed on basis of their weight. Heavy weight goods vehicles upon 7.5 tonnes loading capacity will be charged on basis of their emission standard and their loading capacity. The same schema is applied also for camping vehicles.

Germany plans to change the vehicles taxation schema for electro vehicles within 2011. There is planned a ten years exemption from all vehicle tax.

Regulative incentives:

The Energy Tax Act (Energiesteuergesetz) entered into force on 1 August 2006. This introduced a partial tax on biodiesel of 9 cents per litre for pure biodiesel and 15 cents per litre for added biodiesel. These rates took account of the overcompensation detected in comparison with fossil fuels.

The Biofuel Quota Act (Biokraftstoffquotengesetz) entered into force on 1 January 2007. It replaced the exemption from petroleum tax for biofuels with a regulatory provision laid down in an Act containing the required amendments to the Tax Law (Steuerrecht) and Immission Control Act (Immissionsschutzrecht).

The key points are as follows:

  • Fuel producers will, from 2007, be obliged to a legally-prescribed minimum biofuel percentage (quota) Compliance with this quota requirement may be delegated to third parties.
  • The quota is fixed in relation to energy content from 2007 at 4.4% for diesel and 1.2% for petrol. The quota for petrol will be raised to 2.0% in 2008, 2.8% in 2009 and 3.6% in 2010.
  • From 2009, moreover, a combined quota of 6.25% will be introduced for both fuels; this will gradually be raised to 8% in 2015. The minimum rates for petrol and diesel will continue to apply.
  • A degressive tax incentive will be retained for a transitional period until the end of 2011 for pure vegetable oil and pure biodiesel outside the quota. (Before the Energy Tax Act entered into force on 1 August 2006, tax relief on pure fuels was limited to the end of 2009).
  • Second-generation biofuels, biogas and pure bioethanol (E85) are granted a degressive tax incentive until 2015, having regard to the overcompensation arrangement. No tax is currently levied on such fuels.

The federal law that defines the chance in the promotion of biofuels from 15 July 2009 aims to prevent a competition on the usage of agricultural fields in response to the incentives for biofuels as well as to streamline the further extend of biofuels on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. According to this the incentive schema on biofuels also covers the blend of fossil CNG with biomethanol as well as the use of pure biomethanol for fuelling. In this context the cultivation/production of biomethanol has to be certified according to environmental standards (obligatory since 1 July 2010) and is the basis for any tax incentive granted.

Since February 2011 the new biofuel E10 was introduced in the German market. E10, sometimes called gasohol, is a fuel mixture of 10% anhydrous ethanol and 90% gasoline that can be used in the internal combustion engines of most modern automobiles and light-duty vehicles without need for any modification on the engine or fuel system (a list of vehicles ready for this fuel can be downloaded below).

German cities can implement low emission zones (LEZ, “Umweltzone”) to meet national and European air quality demands (PM10, NO2). The basis for the national scheme was laid with the 35. BImSchV (2006). Cars, vans, buses and trucks with high emissions are not allowed to enter these zones. In Germany the municipalities and regional governments are responsible for the establishment of LEZ (local measure). Currently, approximately 3 dozen German cities have set up LEZ. Vehicles have to be marked with windscreen stickers according to their emissions:

  • list item red for emissions group 2 (Diesel EURO 2 or EURO 1 + particulate filter),
  • list item yellow for emissions group 3 (Diesel EURO 3 or EURO 2 + particulate filter),
  • list item green for emissions group 4 (Diesel EURO 4 or EURO 3 + particulate filter; most petrol vehicles with catalytic converter).

Stickers are mandatory for German and foreign vehicles driven within these zones. They are valid for all low emission zones in any German city.

Currently, the German government works on the establishment of a fuel economy label, which helps car buyers easily assess the impact on climate change of different cars based on a collared scale. Similar labelling schemas are already in usage i.e. in the UK („Eckpunkte für eine Pkw-Energieverbrauchskennzeichnungsverordnung“). It is expected that the labelling will enter in force in 2010/11.


There is a funding schema for companies investing in vehicles and/or refuelling infrastructure related to fossil CNG and biomethan. The funding schema is operated by the national governmental development bank KfW under the programme umbrella „ERP-Umwelt- und Energieeffizienzprogramm“.

The funding criteria are as follows:

  • Exhaust Emission Standard EURO 5;
  • Vehicles according (EG) 715/2007 from 20.06.2007 (Class N1+ N2 up to 12 tons);
  • Fuelling Stations for the vehicles mention before;
  • Heavy Duty Vehicles more than 12 tons with minimum Exhaust Emission Standard EEV.

There is a national funding schema for owners of diesel vehicles that invest in particular filters. Each back fitting of a vehicle is funded with 330 EUR. The funding is possible for vehicles that were registered before 1 January 2007. Since 2010 the funding is also possible under some specific condition for light goods vehicles as well as for camping mobiles. The funding schema is an annual programme which has to be prolonged by governmental decision each year. The funding for 2010 was decided in March 2010. Application for funding can be send to the “Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle” upon 1 June 2010. Eligible back fittings of particular filters which were done before this date are funded retrograde. The usage of particular filters for diesel vehicles has also consequence for the height of the vehicle tax (bonus/malus system).

From 14 January 2009 to 31 December 2009 Germany has implemented a temporary funding schema for the outfacing of old vehicles (only M1 vehicles) and the purchase of new ones. The basis funding conditions was that the new purchased vehicles had to fulfil the Euro 4 standard. Each vehicle purchase was funded with 2,000 EUR. In total a budget of 5 bill EUR was foreseen and exhausted owe to the overwhelming success of this instrument.

The national government offers a funding schema for federal states (Gemeindeverkehrsfinanzierungsgesetz) for the implementation of busses/coaches running with fossil CNG / biomethanol used in public transport. Also the back fitting of the vehicles can be funded. So far however the funding is used only in single cases, i.e. the federal states of Thueringen and Saxony have implemented funding schemas for public transport service providers using the national funding.

The German Federal Ministry of Transport has established eight so called "Modellregion Elektromobilität": Berlin/Potsdam, Bremen/Oldenburg, Hamburg, München, Rhein-Main, Rhein-Ruhr, Sachsen und Stuttgart. Until 2011 a number of pilot projects fort he usage of electro vehicles/electro mobility will realised within these regions. The main objective is to put forward electro vehicle technology for a broader market entry in the near future. The projects are realised in close cooperation with leading automotive companies. The ministry invest about 115 mill EUR. Furthermore, a funding schema of the purchase of electro vehicles is under consideration. The plan is to fund the purchase of each vehicle with 5,000 EUR; the overall funding budget is 500 mill EUR so that a fleet of 100,000 electro vehicles can be set up soon. Other non financial incentives are planned too i.e. specific privileged parking places in cities.

The establishment of pilot projects is supported by the German Department of Environment, i.e. the Senate of Berlin and the gas providers GASAG and RuhrGAS. The project with the original name “Tausend Umwelttaxis für Berlin”, was started in October 2000. With an overall budget of about 11.5 Mio Euro there was the support to purchase and operation of 1000 CNG cars and to extend the pump station network (private persons were supported with 333 EUR each car, taxi companies got 1000 EUR budget for free tanking).

More than 120 of the local gas utility companies have incentive schemes which are all related to new, used - and/or converted CNG vehicles. The incentives are in the form of:

  • Grant of EURO 200 per year for 3 years. The cars must carry the approved stickers to indicate that you are driving a sponsored NGV from the respective gas utility company. Payment yearly after one year and audio inspection of the NGV.
  • CNG Credit of 400 kg – 750Kg on the local gas utility companies Refueling Station. The same thing applies here also for the stickers. In average the credits are in the region of EURO 500 – EURO 750.

Taxi and Fleet vehicles can get in some municipalities a special rate for CNG.

Public Procurement of Clean Vehicles

The EU funded project “buy smart” provides expertise and cost free consultancy on Green Public Procurement also for clean vehicles in Germany (see also Among others the following explanations are made by using expertise and information from “buy smart”.

A multi-criteria analysis of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Significant and Ecofys from January 2009 for the years 2007/08 shows that 30% of all public procurement volume in Germany can be considered as green. In the transport sector (vehicle purchase) the average level of green procurement on the total procurement value (indicator 1) was calculated with about 68% but the share of single contracts comprising green criteria on the overall number of contracts (indicator 2) was about 25%.

In Germany there are about 30.000 public contracting authorities (have to follow public procurement regulations). The public procurement of vehicles has do be done on basis of the „Vergabeordnung für Leistungen (VOL). The possibility to implement green criteria into the procurement process is laid down in national law. The VOL/A §16 (8) defines in a general way that environmental criteria are applicable for the contract award: “Bei der Entscheidung über den Zuschlag berücksichtigen die Auftraggeber verschiedene durch den Auftragsgegenstand gerechtfertigte Kriterien, beispielsweise Qualität, Preis, technischer Wert, Ästhetik, Zweckmäßigkeit, Umwelteigenschaften, Betriebskosten, Lebenszykluskosten, Rentabilität …“. In January 2008 the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology enacted a regulation which states, the federal institutions have to procure products and services with criteria of environmental labels and with regarding life-cycle-costs.

There are virtually no legal or institutional barriers preventing green procurement praxis. It is up to the individual decision makers of the contracting authority to choose whether to include green criteria or not, and to evaluate the outcome (there is no overall regulation to apply or standard to follow). Green procurement is often more or less formally encouraged, but - being not compulsory - the neglecting of green issues often does not bring any consequences. Most of the public tenders for vehicles currently issued in Germany define environmental criteria complying with the EEV-Standard (EEV = Enhanced Environmental Friendly Vehicle) and additional enhanced noise-standards. Some contracting institutions have defined there own environmental standards to follow, i.e. the council of the German Federal Parliament (Ältestenrat des Deutschen Bundestags) has decided to only procure limousines with an emission rate of at max. 140 gCO2 / km.

In Germany, different public contracting authorities can jointly procure by tendering provided that the regulations are complied with. According to findings of the EU funded project COMPRO it can be stated that this is however rarely done in practice – at least in the public transport sector. Therefore, there is little experience in respect of joint procurement of buses at national level. A joint procurement of buses was only done in Germany by the following public transport enterprises, which have formed the ‘KÖR’ (Kooperation Östliches Ruhrgebiet) cooperative: Bochum-Gelsenkirchener Straßenbahnen AG (Bogestra), Straßenbahn Herne-Castrop-Rauxel GmbH (HCR), Vestische Straßenbahnen GmbH and DSW21 (Dortmund). The public transport enterprises conduct a joint procurement annually; however the standards differ according to the public transport enterprise. Bremer Straßenbahn AG (BSAG) has conducted an investigation to ascertain the possibility of a joint procurement with the public transport enterprises of the surrounding cities of Delmenhorst, Oldenburg and Bremerhaven. Unfortunately, the different organisational structures and standards, cycles or the different fleets make the execution difficult.

For stimulating the use of electro vehicles the German Government plans to establish preferencial roles for the public purchase of electro vehicles. The related change in procurement law is expected for the second half of 2011.

National Information Sources on Clean Vehicles

webpage of the German Federal Office for vehicle registration with detailed statistics including clean vehicles

general information on clean vehicles

general information on clean vehicles

overview German low emission zones (LEZ)

online database with clean vehicles

German version of the internet-portal on Green Public Procurement of the European funded project Buy Smart

webpage with relevant information on environmental friendly vehicles and driving including a vehicle data base and calculator.

Search a driving school near you, offering fuel saving courses

Database on environmental performance of vehicles.

Database on environmental performance of vehicles

Database with natural gas refuelling stations in Germany

webpage with address of recharging stations for electric vehicles in Germany

webpage showing auto gas refuelling stations in Germany

online version of the German law for vehicle taxation

online calculator for vehicle tax (all types of vehicles) also for electro vehicles, CNG vehicles etc. The data base shows the vehicle consumption, CO2 emissions and emission classes.

database for the back fitting of diesel vehicles with particle filter

webpage of the German Energy Agency, overview and publications also related to clean vehicles

webpage of the German Assassination of Vehicle Manufactures with actual vehicle data

Online lexicon which shows the height and structure of the fuel tax in Germany

information on energy-balance of various sectors in Germany

webpage of the EU Funded Project INTERACTION (part of Intelligent Energy Europe) with good samples for green vehicle mobility in various business sectors (only in German language)

Important Documents for Clean Vehicles