Matthias Wissmann, president of the German vehicle manufacturers trade association, Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), has said that his group would welcome a national German political strategy to help develop the nascent electric vehicle sector.

Writing in a guest editorial for the German daily Die Welt (The World), Wissmann said the automotive industry would need political help to create the right conditions for a new electric car market to emerge and that any decisions regarding future energy sources would affect the industry.

Wissmann also warned that future European CO2 regulation should not disadvantage Germany, compared to France for example, which has a lower CO2 energy infrastructure because of its dependence on nuclear power.

Wissmann said he expects electric and fuel cell-powered cars to pay an important role in the future but they would not make a meaningful contribution until they offer customers the same level of comfort, range and safety as cars currently on sale.

Electric cars would be complemented by fuel cell-powered cars for longer distance journeys.