3. Bucerius Energy Law Day: Energy policy in the transport sector

The Initiative on Energy Law and Policy examines perspectives on electromobility

On October 11 2017, the 3rd Bucerius Energy Law Day took place at Bucerius Law School. The discussion focused on legal perspectives and challenges regarding electromobility and its potential breakthrough in the German automobile market. Moreover, the conference marked the beginning of a research project on "Legal problems concerning Electromobility", which the Initiative on Energy Law and Policy will focus on over the next years.

After welcoming speeches by Dr. Werner Schnappauf and Prof. Dr. Michael Fehling, Rainer Bomba, State Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, pointed out the considerable changes that are likely to result from an ecological traffic-turn ("Verkehrswende"). Key topics concerned not only the gradual disappearance of conventional engines, but also digitalization and links between the automotive and the electricity sector as well as the necessary infrastructure development. This issue was further developed by Prof. Markus Ludwigs, University of Würzburg, who presented details regarding legal classification of public infrastructure for power charging stations as proposed in the EnWG.

Thereafter, Dr. Kai Pritzsche, Partner at Linklaters, moderated a panel discussion on different business models for electric vehicles. The Participants were: Michael Lohmeier (Deutsche Post), Kerstin Meerwaldt (BMW Group), Philipp Sindberg (Ubitricity) and Dr. Oliver Weinmann (Vattenfall). Despite some differences in perspective, they agreed upon electromobility being ready for the market and a valuable tool to both catch and satisfy various groups of customers. Yet, all panellists stressed the aspect that alternative solutions such as hydrogen technology should not be forgotten entirely besides battery-powered vehicles.

During the following "International Panel" Prof. Dr. Martin Wickel, Hafen City University, Prof. Joel Eisen, University of Richmond and Christian Jordal, EFTA Surveilance Authority compared the legal situation in Germany against US and Norwegian laws. In all these countries, it was stated, government support regarding purchase of e-cars and implementation of charging station-infrastructure were essential to electromobility's future success.

The conference was completed by animated conversations over wine and pretzels.


Text: Charlotte Schings, research assistant; photos: Ronald Frommann