Championing smart mobility

Berlin is expanding its reliance on electric vehicles through incentivized ownership, and a surge in the use of electric car-sharing services.

Private ownership of electric vehicles has grown substantially in Berlin, with a 70% increase in 2019. This upward trend is being driven by initiatives from eMO, the state-owned agency for smart mobility, but also a strong business e-mobility program that provides generous financial incentives for enterprises that switch to electric vehicles. 

Electric vehicles registered in Berlin, % year-on-year increase
Source, Federal Motor Transport Authority, Berliner Zeitung news

Berlin accelerates intelligent, sustainable energy and mobility solutions. In the coming years, we will expand local public transport by over 28 billion euros to improve traffic and air in the city. For 2020, we even doubled the funding for electromobility. Beyond that, as a pioneer region of the energy transition, Berlin already excels at the digitalization of its energy industry.

Ramona Pop, Berlin Senator for Economy, Energy, and Enterprises

Car-sharing  has also grown in popularity across Germany, particularly the emergence of ‘free-floating’ vehicles that can be parked anywhere. Free-floating services have been made possible by recent technological innovations, with users able to locate, book, and unlock cars through a smartphone app. Berlin’s WeShare service from Volkswagen unites the free-floating model with sustainable e-mobility. Launched in 2019 with 1,500 electric vehicles, WeShare is adding a further 500 in 2020, while expanding to seven other European cities to create a combined fleet of 8,400.

Registered members with car sharing providers in Germany
Source: Bundesverband CarSharing e.V.

Initiatives to reduce traffic volume and emissions include innovation that encourages the switch to cycling. Siemens is currently developing the Sitraffic SiBike ‘green wave’ for cyclists. A smartphone app uses GPS to determine a cyclist’s location, speed and direction of travel. If a junction is safe as the cyclist approaches, a command is sent to the traffic light, which turns green to allow the cyclist through.

Berlin in numbers


Electric vehicle ownership in Berlin surged in 2019, reaching almost 10,000 vehicles


Number of free-floating shared vehicles in Berlin in 2019

Source: Bundesverband CarSharing


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