You may think that China is already on its way to becoming the world’s electric car leader thanks to its extremely large potential consumer market and industrial revolution, but it turns out Germany is also after the same accolade. 

In a move which aims to develop as many as 1 million plug-in vehicles on the roads by 2020, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that her government plans to invest an additional 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) to research and develop the electric vehicle industry in Germany. 

While Merkel’s deadline is a full five years behind President Obama’s goal of 1 million plug-in vehicles on the roads of the U.S. by 2015, Germany is a smaller country, meaning a higher percentage of electric vehicle adoption per capita.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

While Germany is only the size of Montana, its population is approximately 81,880,000  contrasting the U.S’s 308,745,000. In real terms, this equates to nearly three times the electric vehicles per head of population in Germany than the U.S. 

As part of the investment, the German government will be providing fiscal assistance for automakers seeking to research and develop electric vehicles, as well as rolling out tax rebates, dedicated plug-in parking spots and charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicles nationwide. 

The incentives will even extend to the public sector, with measures due to be adopted to ensure that local and national governments make use of electric vehicles where appropriate and possible. 

The news will no doubt be received with great joy by German automakers BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler. All three firms have been working extensively on electric drivetrains in the past few years and plan to launch large-scale electric production vehicles in the next twelve months.