There is no planned green car economy

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Oliver Luksic, of the FDP, has no electric mobility ordered by political order. The car of tomorrow must decide the market, not the state. Otherwise, it will soon become a luxury product.

Oliver Luksic

Pictograph of electric car on a park field. (Image: Christian Beutler / Keystone)

Pictograph of electric car on a park field. (Image: Christian Beutler / Keystone)

The electric drives are good, the burners are bad: that's the paradigm currently valid for the car. As a result, electric cars and gas burners are forced to disappear at the national and European levels due to the ban on diesel vehicles, more and more stringent subsidies and targets in terms of fleet. CO2. The introduction of a CO2-related transport tax will be the next policy instrument of this project. German companies are taking risks and investing heavily to ensure their pioneering role in the field of electronic mobility. Both types of readers have advantages and disadvantages. The technological openness rather than the unilateral focus on electric transmission would be the correct political answer.

Oliver Luksic is a member of the German FDP group and spokesperson for transport policy. (Photo: PD)

Oliver Luksic is a member of the German FDP and spokesperson for his group on transport policy. (Photo: PD)

Electric propulsion is useful in urban agglomeration because of its low emissions of pollutants and noise. Also in terms of driving characteristics, it can score points as it brings the full torque directly to the road. In the long run, however, the combustion engine has obvious advantages because of its superior range. In addition to the potential of the combustion chamber, which can become even cleaner and more fuel-efficient, hybridization offers the possibility of combining the advantages of electric motors and combustion engines: urban driving without emission and driving to long distance.

Inexpensive micro vehicles

But instead of promoting other new technologies (e-fuels and hydrogen) with market-based openness and incentives for innovation, public subsidies to electronic vehicles such as purchase premiums , charging station subsidies and various tax benefits are based solely on battery powered electronic mobility. The consequence is the cessation of production of small, inexpensive vehicles with internal combustion engines, such as the VW Up, Ford Ka, Smart or Opel Adam, although the demand for this small car is not interrupted. If it is no longer supply and demand, but the policy that determines which cars are built, this will pave the way for a planned green economy era.

Overall, the balance of traffic is not environmentally friendly, so small cars removed and especially large vehicles are electrified. Due to the production of batteries and extraction of necessary raw materials, additional CO2 is produced. Thus, according to VW, an e-Golf is only cleaner than an identical Golf TDI, with a mileage of 125,000 kilometers. Despite the premium to electronic purchase, the main obstacle to purchase lies in the price, but also in the infrastructure of insufficient charging and long charge times in the foreseeable future. And the most important cost is the battery, even with increasing production volumes.

Driving a car becomes a luxury

Without leap of innovation, it will not change much. Although the electrification of the powertrain simplifies the technology, the car becomes more expensive. This price / performance gap puts considerable pressure on manufacturers' costs and margins, which will lead to significant job losses and relocation. The result is a double paradox of electronic mobility. In addition to this, builders must balance the emissions of their remaining fleet with the help of electrified luxury cars due to CO2 savings. It is expensive and leads to bizarre solutions. For example, Fiat Chrysler has an agreement with Tesla to "cleanly buy" its own vehicles with Tesla's carbon footprint. The consequence of this planned economy is that basic mobility becomes enormously more expensive. Driving a car becomes a difficult medium-term luxury for low-income people.

From the point of view of industrial policy also, the planned transition to electric mobility on battery is risky for Germany. In addition to the significantly lower vertical manufacturing range and the loss of German added value in the manufacturing sector, dependence on raw materials such as cobalt and rare earths, which are mainly in Chinese hands, is exploited without taking into account the environmental damage, jeopardizes important parts of the automobile production and therefore of a key German industry, If this happened to the end of the internal combustion engine, it would mean, according to Ifo Institute, a loss worth 13% or 48 billion euros.

The era of the planned green economy has begun, if not more supply and demand, but the state determines the cars built. Instead of being open to technology, the focus is solely on battery electromobility, which in itself can not be progress or innovation. Those who want to capitalize on the benefits of e-mobility in urban areas and avoid double anti-social policies that have a huge impact on auto and low-wage professionals, now have the last chance to overthrow the market economy. .

Read here the opposite position of Cem Özdemir, green traffic specialist: