Germany Still Can’t Make Up Its Mind About Electric Cars

MAR 16 2019 BY EVANNEX 108


The German auto industry has been through quite a scandal surrounding dieselgate. But that’s not stopping some from clinging to diesel. The Verge reports, “Germany is divided about the future of its most important industry: while some automakers pursue electric vehicles, a noisy group of diesel-energy enthusiasts are expressing their frustration through protests. These have gone on every weekend so far this year.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: As EVs grow in popularity, Diesel still has a fervent group of supporters in Germany (Image: Buy a Car)

At a rally in Munich, a man earned applause from the crowd for calling electric vehicles “hazardous waste.” As it turns out, earlier this year, “The first protest took place in Stuttgart… [and] since then, hundreds of protesters wearing yellow vests have gathered each weekend to rally against court-mandated driving bans for older diesel cars. The bans were put in place in response to excessive air pollution.”

“The diesel is only the beginning,” Michael Haberland, who organized the protest in Munich, tells The Verge. “The gasoline engine is next.” Haberland is president of Mobil in Deutschland, a motor club. He’s not too happy about European emission limits for air pollution. “Are we all supposed to drive electric vehicles now?” he asks. “They just don’t work. The diesel engine, on the other hand, has been a success story for more than 125 years.”

Above: Tailpipe emissions (Medium: Carpathy)

While there has been some encouraging rhetoric from German automakers about investing in an electric vehicle future, Jörg Wellnitz, a professor at Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt, a technical college in Audi’s hometown, tells The Verge, “These are just statements to relieve political pressure…The investments are completely pointless.”

A quick switch to electric vehicles would be “the suicide of the German car industry,” Wellnitz says. Recent statements from Wellnitz went viral when a local newspaper published an interview with him. He thinks electric cars are too expensive and the battery’s raw materials are too difficult to obtain. He also says the charging infrastructure’s inadequate and the grid to charge them is too dirty.

Above: Others like German energy economist Claudia Kemfert aren’t buying the standard arguments from fossil fuel supporters (Youtube: DW News)

On the other hand, Germany’s “car pope,” Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, professor of automotive economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, completely disagrees. Perhaps some, like Wellnitz, remain stuck in a diesel-fueled daze. “They’re nostalgic,” Dudenhöffer tells The Verge. “Some have built their entire careers on combustion engines. Of course they will tell you that electric cars are bad. A postman doesn’t like emails, either.”


Source: The VergeDW News

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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108 Comments on "Germany Still Can’t Make Up Its Mind About Electric Cars"

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I would love to see an audit of yellow vests to see how many were genuine people and how many have a vested interest in fossil fuels or were paid activist just like other greenwashing efforts. I get protesting if you make diesel engines or sell diesel fuel, or even if you own a diesel car. But on no planet is a diesel cleaner than an EV.

“But on no planet is a diesel cleaner than an EV.”
Welcome to planet Germany.

On any other planet except earth Diesel engines are emission free since there is no oxygen for combustion.

There is some oxygen on Mars.

Exactly, first word that came to mind re: Yellow Vest: “Astro-turfing”. It’s not them, and the vests weren’t protesting EVs, to begin with.

Diesel spewing emissions are one place share-owners and many of Germany’s drivers agree. They want them, for FREE, despite the citizens of Stuttgart being affirmed the right to clean air, and reductions or “bans” on smog/NOx.

Exactly, this is the EU version of the Koch created and funded Tea Party.
False Flag. Can you believe any sane person would want these old cancer spewers on the road!

Same with the French “gas tax” proposal.
France has one of the best public transit systems in the world.

Koch Money Polluting Global Democracy.

Yep It’s Putin ! That’s what my Slovakian girlfriend said too ! “Putin, Putin hurry Putin” ! … l m a o ….. it’s true !

There’s a difference?

Sorry, the people protesting are not “anti EV”. At least that is not why they are there. The comprehensible reason is that they legally bought a car and now some cities try to ban those cars from entering. They feel cheated. Imagine buying a Tesla and then Los Angeles mandates that you use public transport. Undoubtedly it’s more environmentally friendly, but you would be angry.
The Diesels (even the non-cheating ones) were bought in good faith that they can be used for a reasonable period of time. The mandated bans would render the protesters property useless and force them to change cars.

When I had to buy 2 cars for wife and daughter in 2013 and 2014 I did NOT buy diesels because I somehow managed to interpolate a few trends into the future.
Anybody could have done that.

Emissions in general are worse for petrol than diesel. Only NOx and fine dust is a disadvantage regarding diesel. Both fuels are not good, but for the climate petrol is obviously worse. Not sure your “genius” interpolation was taking all arguments into account, if you did not buy an EV instead?

Sorry but those are the rules. If you have cancer creating products on stores shelves wouldn’t you want them off the shelves

Yes, I would. But the protests are not about that.

David, thank you for a good explanation of the other perspective. I don’t need to agree with that perspective to still value understanding it.

Sure thing. I don’t agree on the moral issue either. But on the other hand, I am sympathetic with the people now getting screwed over. Again, I don’t think you can blame people to have done something, that was totally normal and acceptible. And especially I can see why they are angry when they are now forced to buy new cars (either gasoline, Euro6d diesel or electric) and there are some folks mocking them or claiming they are paid by the gas cartel or whatever.

So, a better solution would have been for germany to help these people. There are several ways this could have been achieved. Forcing them to buy a more expensive car from their own money when they have done nothing wrong is (socially) not the way to go.

Just another putin sponsored riot in Europe

This is just fear representing itself. 30% or more of the auto industry jobs are going away and not coming back with EVs. Everything they thought they knew about ICE/diesel cars that they held as valuable, becomes obsolete. The older generation fears losing their status based on knowledge of the ICE/Diesel auto industry, not interested or willing to learn what’s required for the future of transportation. EVs, bring with it a forced redundancy for many where their entire productive lives were based on ICE and diesel engine technology. Private power companies told the same story when solar and wind became more viable……but combined with battery storage, that offered savings/dollars to the power companies, they all of a sudden got on board. Germany is Mercedes-Benz and BMW territory, and everything that identified products of both brands as ‘superior’ in their eyes goes away with EVs. From the engines, transmissions to the bulky/solid/heavy construction, the effort to get 50/50 weight distribution, to the touch and feel of switchgear….it all goes away. Now it’s up to VW Group, MB and BMW to do what it takes to build the best EV so their public can regain the 100+ year long status that is… Read more »

Tesla is nowhere near VAG in Sales and Profits

In USA, it’s home market, Tesla currently outsells VW in numbers and annihilates it in revenue.
In California (5th largest world economy) Tesla is the top selling vehicle.

Right, so you’ll tell these protesters that they have nothing to worry about. Things never change.

Of course not.
Here on Europe we don’t bill our automakers with billions because they cheat on emissions test for more than 10 years.

That’s the difference between investment and destroy people jobs because capital failure.

Electricity companies are only on board with renewables if regulations hinder decentralised generation, thus ensuring they can retain their monopoly.

Germany is an excellent example. Solar and on-shore wind have been totally stunted in favour of much more expensive and geographically nonsensical (in Germany) off-shore wind, because off-shore wind can only be built by the large utilities, while solar and on-shore wind creates competition…

That’s how the Tories are acting in Britain too. Except that another technology involving large utilities, nuclear, is even more favored than offshore wind. Big money = big bribes.

And all Trump-voters were paid by the coal industry? Crazy people exist and do not need to be paid by anyone.

If so, America has an unprecedented crazy-people problem.

I thought about this for quite a long time, but now I feel is the right moment. I know someone will probably disagree but I think Tesla, at this point, should start making advertising. There are still so many people in Germany, Italy and other countries who have never heard, even in a negative manner, about Tesla. Those people don’t search for informations on the internet, but only get what is shown on television. Where there are always the same old commercials of ICE cars from traditional automakers… Showing everyone who watches television a far better alternative exists, I don’t think it’s a really bad idea. Excess of demand for Tesla? Sure, but people nowadays are already used to delay the purchase of a new car, and Tesla is always in fast expansion. Moreover even if those people will not buy a Tesla, they will know more about EVs and so they’ll start to require them from traditional automakers!

I’m open to any reply to my suggestion, I’d like to know both why it’s a good idea and why not so I can understand better pros and cons!

Tesla does not use traditional advertising, though you have a point.
Atm I don’t think Tesla has plans to enjoin an advertising agency.
They are looking at ways to save money not blow it.
It’s a different model of proliferation than does not rely on traditional advertising, which as you probably know is much less effective than it once was, despite the tremendous amounts of money spent it.

As much as I would like Tesla to advertise, I do not think they have the cash flow for it. I do not know how much cost a good campaign on TV but I’m pretty sure it is over a billion and Elon said that Tesla was to be profitable on every quarter

They could raise prices at the same time, which would probably keep them profitable with the extra demand created — but it woudn’t be beneficial for the mission of getting affordable EVs to as many people as possible…

Buying advertising to reduce the FUD might be the only reason.

However, it wouldn’t stop the fossil fuel smear campaigns.

Mainstream media has a huge conflict of interest, GM spends millions of dollars advertising in the NY times or The Guardian, so those publications can’t say anything negative about GM or GM will threaten to withdraw their ad dollars.
But of course they can say whatever they like about Tesla and Elon Musk.

Also Tesla can’t keep up with demand as it is, and they have other demand levers they can use; such as leasing for the Model 3.

For Tesla to promote their brand , I think they should have traveling test drives and go into areas where people have no Tesla stores, and have never driven an EV.

I have seen Nissan ads for their Leaf, if nothing else that certainly helps legitimize EVs to the masses.

When the 3SR is available in Europe in big quantities they should do some PR.
Or invest in All-In fleet sales.
And especially try to get a foothold in the fleets of Avis, Hertz, & Co., so a lot of people can experience driving an EV who would not have done otherwise.

Elon said in the past that Tesla will start traditional advertising as soon as their production capacity exceeds demand… That just never happened. And I’m not sure it will happen any time soon…

Sure, us enthusiasts would love for the public to get informed better — but from a business point of view, it just doesn’t make sense to spend a lot on generating extra demand, while even existing demand can’t be satisfied…

Regardless of advertising, I don’t think current Tesla is a car for “common” people. Primarily due to relative complexity to operate and reliability problems.

“Complexity to operate and reliability problems”? Are you smoking something? EV’s are the simplest to operate, ever hear of one pedal driving? They are simpler and cheaper to maintain and don’t have the thousands of moving parts an ICE has. Please stop the FUD!

Maybe there’s more to it than just the same old commercials.
Those commercials pay the news divisions of those TV networks. That’s influence. Just as the same old car ads pay the newspapers.

A friend of mine says that a study showed people quizzed after watching a McDonalds (or Burger King) ad weren’t influenced to specifically eat at McDonalds (or Burger King), but just felt hungry for hamburgers. But in effect all the giant corporations making the same product, saturating your consciousness with ads for it, support each other and make the product in itself seem more necessary to life. And every ad sells not just the product itself as necessary for happiness, but the corporation producing it. That’s a truly chilling power.

Tesla was correct that it could reach an enthusiastic minority of consumers without ads, but the rest are now being organized by oligarchic forces to fear and hate change.

Obviously, german makes are comfortable with the situation. But even when they are lazy about the change, they will be in the change, no doubt about that. German goverment is between the pression of the UE and a big part of germans claiming for susteinability and the change, and the german industry that prefers the current statu quo. But I think is irreversible.

German auto makers are about as comfortable as a 3 legged cat on a hot tin roof.

Scared old men, afraid of the world changing around them.

They’re everywhere, sadly.

In the 1980’s I was just starting out in micro-computers, I had an older gentleman rant and rave at me for half an hour about how worthless a 8 bit CPU with less than 64K of usable memory was, and he knew this because he had spent the last twenty years programming mainframes and need the needs of REAL COMPUTERS. And not the toy I was playing with.

I did not even bother to tell him about the businesses I was already programming inventory, accounts receiveable, the chemistry of concrete making. And later I remember having to explain to an engineer how to get his thermal modeling working on a micro-computer because his original FORTRAN program needed to much space for arrays.

Today, the ranter is probably dead from old age, and that is what we may have to wait for for some of the others too. I just can’t see Bob Lutz admitting he was wrong.

Even India has aging demographics, a ruling party built on demanding a restoration of old caste injustices, and a growing phenomenon of mobs of that party’s partisans beating and killing dissidents.

It’s like some bizarre cross between Malthus’ predictions that an overpopulated world would turn to war as rival peoples tried to exterminate their competition, and Clint Eastwood yelling at kids to get off his lawn. All these aging threatened dominant ethnicities calling for a return to the past by any means necessary.

Sorry to say, you will be old too one day and you’ll cling to your old ways. The young will tell you are obsolete because you drive that thing with wheels on the ground enjoying the wind in your hair while they are wall plugged into the Matrix playing Fortnite.

A) I am already old at 63 years old.

B) I am clinging to my old ways, I can’t get a handle on understanding neural networks or deep learning. I have to program in C++ mostly. And use N-dimension databases/search engines for what little AI programming I do.

C) And despite the above I don’t try and stop people using new tech, I may not use it myself but I do not try to put up any road-blocks to those who want to use it.

D) I am not a fossilized old frat, I am a unfossilized old frat, I have a chemistry lab on my main table, a 3D printer on another one, an indoor garden to grow my own herbs and some small fruit, four laptops, one desktop, running Haiku-OS, an electric run-about at my secondary home, solar panels and 2.5 kWh DIY power pack at my retreat property and other assorted experiments.

This is a much more interesting development in Germany than whatever the Tesla PR firm Evannex is trying to propagate here:

The “Welt am Sonntag” reports that the Volkswagen Group is threatening to withdraw from the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). There are corresponding considerations, according to the report, from corporate circles. The people of Wolfsburg did not feel properly represented by the VDA.

In particular, the focus is on electric motors among the alternative drive types. Above all, the association must move away from the strategy of “openness to technology” and ensure that all forces are concentrated exclusively on the implementation of the battery car. The development and promotion of vehicles with fuel cells, gas drives or other more environmentally friendly variants would have to be discontinued. VW CEO Herbert Diess was quoted as saying that this was overtaxing the industry.

Should it be true, it would be an absolutely interesting development. Wolkswagen which basically shows a middle finger to Daimler and BMW, which still fight a lot on defending diesel, and going full speed on EVs? Should a part of Germany automotive survive, is surely Volkswagen group. BMW? They have a chance in my opinion but they need to hurry up with the i4 and next-generation cars. Daimler? Mmh… Smart will be an electric only brand but is quite a niche, Mercedes is the real player. And no, I think at the moment they aren’t moving fast enough sadly. Even if they are already developing a full lineup (EQC, EQS, EQA, EQB, EQV…) I don’t see many real facts from them.

Well the SEC just sued VW, and for good reason.
The diesel-gate scandal is still haunting them, and while many would like to put it behind them, especially VW, that’s not happening.
I do agree though that VW is at least moving forward, and putting out a lot of announcements and concept cars, but as a whole I think the whole VW group is way behind and playing catch up.

Among all the legacy makers, the VW group seems to have the most convincing EV line-up for 2020…

(Though the next wave of new models is only planned for 2022 — so I guess some others might be able to catch up by then…)

As far as I can tell, Daimler is actually on a better course than BMW: with an upcoming dedicated BEV platform, and reasonably ambitious EV share goals; while BMW still doesn’t believe in a meaningful EV share, and trying to get away with a half-assed “common” platform…

Also Mercedes already sells electric vans, delivery trucks and electric buses.

There’s an inherent problem with a CEO’s compensation tied to gas, and a transition to electric.
Wasn’t this the VW that said this new generation of engines was their last?

No one is going to buy the rolling bomb hydrogen car with no infrastructure.
Hydrogen “Terrorist Car if the Year”.

But, yes, big investments will have to be made or market share will be lost.
And this is where the Government steps in and forces you to stay in business.

Otherwise, you could adopt Exxon and Ford’s, “We will shrink but stay profitable” all the way to zero gas cars on the road. But, the German Government doesn’t want the lost sales and the layoffs.

No, the *next* generation of combustion engines — which they are working on right now, to be ready by the middle of the next decade — is supposed to be their last.

PS. please stop that “rolling bomb” nonsense. There are more than enough valid arguments against hydrogen cars — no need to derail the discussion with this sort of FUD.

Well said. Actual facts regarding physics, thermodynamics, and basic economics are entirely sufficient to doom any plans for hydrogen-powered cars, now and forever. They might as well try to bring back steam-powered cars; that would be no worse, and just as doomed to failure, as promoting hydrogen-powered cars!

We don’t need to hype the supposed danger of hydrogen-powered FCEVs being “rolling bombs”. In fact, there is less of a danger from fire (or explosion) with a hydrogen-powered car than with a gasoline-powered one.

While this is a CNG explosion this is what we expect if thing go wrong for hydrogen storage.

Pushmi-pullyu – “In fact, there is less of a danger from fire (or explosion) with a hydrogen-powered car than with a gasoline-powered one.”
The risks are different. I too disagree with the “rolling bomb” remark, and even though I think hydrogen is a bad idea for cars, the risk of tank rupture and explosion is very small. What IS a realistic concern, is a slow leakage, and if parked in a confined space, a build up of hydrogen and possible explosion risk.

Which is exactly why current LPG powered cars are forbidden from some underground car parks, and such as Eurotunnel. (Car transporting train that connects Britain and France.) Hydrogen powered cars will face the same restrictions for the same reasons. In terms of risk assessment – not that likely to happen, but the consequences if it did………

I don’t see any explicit mention of fuel cells etc. in the linked article?…

So confused… exactly how is it that Germany’s electric grid and infrastructure so dirty?

I mean it’s not perfect at 40% of all energy being renewable vs US’s 12% but it’s a lot better than us! Calling themselves “dirty” while still pushing diesel is disingenuous at best.

The excessive amount of lignite causes the problem. This is another old industry that is continuously being subsidized and protected by the German government because of the jobs involved. Germany is Weltmeister in green marketing! The amount of lignite produced is about the same ad China’s. And that is in absolute values, not per capita. This tremendous amount of lignite is also the cause that people in Germany are brainwashed with the fact that, with the national energy balance in mind, EVs are about as dirty as ICE cars. Here you have your reasons why most Germans do not believe in EVs!

Have you heard of the “Kohleausstieg”. Germany just stopped mining of hard coal and will stop the production of lignite within the next 15years and replace it with renewables. Right now they need to replace nuclear powerplants first. When Germany wants to be independent from Russian gas in a worst case scenario, they need lignite for a few more years. They already managed to ramp up renewables from 10 to 40% within the last 15years.

It could happen a lot faster, if it wasn’t for politicians pandering to the coal lobby.

It’s not a lot better than in the US. They are very comparable, if anything the US grids are cleaner than the German.
Renewables has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is about what is burned and what is released when that is burned.

Germany is one of the dirtiest countries in Europe (and in the world), their levels of dirty coal is not matched by many other countries. The US is about the same in CO2 emissions per kWh but with the majority of the fossil electricity coming from natural gas which burns cleaner makes the air pollution a lot cleaner than in Germany.

Unfortunately, from what I read, much of that could have been avoided by retaining the existing nuclear power stations to the end of their planned lifespan, another 15-20 years (I’m not talking about constructing new ones, or trying completely new tech) until more renewables can be added, storage solutions improve and natural gas pipelines built to take up the slack. That would have been very low risk in all aspects, and the political decision to kill nuclear immediately and totally was an environmental disaster.

You do not know that. 33years after Chernobyl you still should not regularly eat mushrooms from the forest in parts of Europe. We all have a littler higher risk of cancer since then. Or ask the people of Fukushima what they think of “very low risk”. As well Germany does not have any option to safely store nuclear waste for 10000s of years and the nuclear powerplants were really old (70s and 80s). Think of what technology was available in the 70s and ask yourself, if you really trust that.
I think the decision was right. No further discussions needed. Full focus on ramping up renewables.

You’re just repeating the anti-nuclear fear-mongering promoted by mass media, and not-so-subtly aided by propaganda from Big Oil. There’s a lot more danger of radiation in the exhaust of coal-fired power plants than from commercial nuclear reactors.

Nobody has died due to any leakage of radiation or radioactive particles from Fukushima. The Japanese goverment’s panicked overreaction to the accident, permanently evacuating an area of which about 85% has a background radiation level no higher than Denver, Colorado, is an extreme case of politicians caving in to public hysteria over “RADIATION!!”

Contrariwise, an estimated 15,000-30,000 Americans die every year from the pollution emitted by coal-fired powered plants And of course worldwide, the public health hazard is far more widespread.

Even Rachel Maddow, the most popular news commentator on MSNBC and someone I watch faithfully, called the hydrogen explosion at Fukushima a “nuclear explosion”. The way mainstream news sources promote public hysteria about “RADIATION!!” and nuclear power is… well, as I’ve said, it’s pretty good proof that human beings are not rational animals. 🙁

That’s a false trade-off. Since nuclear is non-dispatchable, it helps *absolutely nothing* with renewable integration. The amount of fossils needed to support renewables during the transition period (until storage, demand response, and long-range transmission ramp up) would be the same either way. And in either case, the amount needed is actually much smaller than what we are seeing right now. The actual grid operators said that the German grid can support a much higher renewable penetration no problem. Claims to the contrary are just an excuse for prolonging fossils.

Your argument is nonsense. Burning coal for power presents very clear, ongoing, daily dangers to public health from the massive amounts of pollution pumped into the atmosphere. And that’s for burning hard black coal. The soft brown coal that Germany will be burning more and more of is even worse!

Contrariwise, nuclear power is clean, produces no air pollution in normal operation, and when measured by deaths (including accidents) per kWh of power generated, is a far, far safer form of power than just about anything else… even safer than hydroelectric plants!

Commercial nuclear power has had exactly two disasters worth mentioning in decades of operation, resulting in a few thousand deaths. Contrariwise, coal power kills probably more than a hundred thousand people every year, worldwide.

If every single coal-fired power plant in the world was replaced by a nuclear power plant, we’d all be much better off.

Indeed. Nuclear power plants are a reliable, year-round, 24/7 source of clean energy, completely free of air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Their construction costs have already been fully paid for, and the fuel cost is almost negligible. The German government arbitrarily shutting those down for no reason other than politics was literally a case of group insanity.

FSM save us from politicians who allow pie-in-the-sky idealism to completely trample everything else, including reducing pollution and reducing carbon emissions.

As usual, I must point out that the research is still underway to determine how much methane is leaked out by natural gas industry infrastructure. The US gambled that natural gas would be sufficiently less bad than coal, just as Europe gambled that diesel would be sufficiently less bad than gasoline. The research on both fronts just gets more and more depressing.

The real point is that as far as BEVs are concerned, we’re at a crossroads.

He says : “He thinks electric cars are too expensive and the battery’s raw materials are too difficult to obtain. He also says the charging infrastructure’s inadequate and the grid to charge them is too dirty.”

And – AT THE MOMENT – he may have a point. But it’s not to say those points will still be true in the future. Logic argues they almost certainly won’t. Just one possibility is that sodium may be able to be used in place of lithium in batteries of the future – and there is certainly no shortage of sodium! Charging infrastructure is just a technology and infrastructure problem. The same could have been said about petrol a hundred years ago.

What has changed in the last ten years is that electric cars have gone from being a quirky novelty, to something practical enough that they are already being bought in six digit numbers. They are still far from perfect, there is still much room for improvement, but the writing is on the wall.

“He thinks electric cars are too expensive and the battery’s raw materials are too difficult to obtain.”

No more difficult than extracting oil from miles below the seafloor out in the middle of violent ocean storms. Lithium, nickel, aluminum are all quite easy to mine and are recyclable unlike oil.

The only difficult one is cobalt but Tesla/Panasonic is showing that not only can cobalt be reduced to just a small percent of the cell it can and will be eliminated altogether soon.

Cobalt is problematic mostly due to political reasons AIUI. There is no actual big difficulty in mining cobalt as far as I’m aware… (Though the supply is limited, which could be a problem.)

Lithium on the other hand is not super easy to mine. Not really prohibitive, but significant nevertheless from what I can gather…

Lithium is a common element, fairly easy to extract and refine (you don’t even have to mine it), and easily found in so many places that, in general, people don’t bother to prospect for it.

Anyone trying to tell you that there is a limitation in the lithium supply is trying to sell you something — probably stocks in a speculative mineral exploration company.

Cobalt is another matter. Sources for that are much more rare and limited. It’s good the industry has found ways to reduce the amount of cobalt in li-ion batteries, and will continue to reduce that further.

“The real point is that as far as BEVs are concerned, we’re at a crossroads.”

We are only “at a crossroads” because the auto industry can no longer ignore the inevitability of BEVs replacing gasmobiles, and that continuing to spend money on developing and building gasmobiles is increasingly a dead-end prospect.

It’s not like the industry has a choice of which direction to go. The eventual obsolescence of the gasmobile, and the eventual triumph of the BEV, is becoming increasingly more clear every year — heck, every month now — despite some desperate attempts to promote fool cell cars as an alternative to BEVs.

The only question remaining is how long legacy auto makers are going to continue fighting against the inevitable. Those fighting the hardest are the ones which are guaranteed not to survive the disruption of the EV tech revolution. The ones which embrace change will at least have a fighting chance to emerge on the other side with a good market share.

Coal burning should be banned immediately. We can do that today. Japan shot down all its nuclear over night despite it supplied 35% of Japans electricity. It was replaced overnight with emergency power. We can do the same with coal. It has to be shot down now with no further delay.

Some parts of the world generate ~80% of electricity from coal… It can’t really be shut down overnight everywhere.

(No doubt a significant portion could be shut down in Germany. The problem is that it if it happened right now, it would be replaced mostly by Russian gas… To do it properly, we need a few years of *serious* renewable investment, not the heel-dragging of the past several years…)

Here in eastern Kansas, 38% of our power comes from coal. That’s an impressive improvement, as several years ago it was well over 50%. But 38% is still too much to suddenly remove.

I don’t see how you could shut down all the coal-fired power plants in the USA overnight, or even with a couple of weeks of notice, without plunging the country into a major depression. Much as I’d like to see a complete and total end to burning coal to produce electricity, I don’t see banning it immediately as being practical. Remember, it’s not just our houses and commercial buildings which rely on having a steady supply of electricity 24/7; our industry relies on it too. Shut down all coal-fired power plants overnight, and a significant percentage of the jobs in this country would vanish just as fast.

Diesel addiction is one of the worst of Big Money addictions to overcome . Change is a tuff pill to swallow when Big Money keeps rolling in without putting forth much effort. …They don’t see a “Goodenough” (pun intended) reason to change that !

Yeah, the industry is sick, and they need to call a doctor.

Instead they only call lobbyists.

I sense a great US export opportunity here. We can sell the Germans all our latest and greatest Coal-Rolling technologies. Imagine all those big luxury BMWs and MB with huge exhaust pipes trailing a cloud of black smoke down the Autobahn.

These protesters somehow deserve to be locked up with some dieselengines running.
Maybe they will experience the same thing I do often, as a lungpatient.

Well, if we wanted to explode what is currently just a sideshow in a political movement by the economically marginalized; explode it into a front-and-center political issue over persecuting those exercising their free speech, which would result in public opposition to the EV revolution… then that would certainly be the way to do it. O_o

The way to convince people to switch from gasmobiles to EVs is by (a) convincing them that EVs really are better in many ways, and (b) applying gentle but firm economic pressure by steady incremental raises in at-the-pump gasoline taxes.

Outright banning them from using cars into which they have invested* a large part of their yearly wealth, and doing that without some years of warning in advance, isn’t the way to do it.

*Yeah, I know: “Cars are an expense, not an investment.” That’s true, but it’s also true the the word “invest” has more than one meaning.

Yes, diesels have been polluting the planet for years a lot more than the auto industry admitted to boot, and that’s a success story.
Typical anti ev memes that are fast becoming irrelevant, as the various complaints, of lack of charging infrastructure, polluting energy production, inadequate vehicles, are all specious.

The world is in a continuous move to more efficient less polluting, and destructive methods of power and transportation, it will be a long, slow, painful, transition, but it will happen, but not if you leave the auto industry in charge. Then it would take decades longer.

I cannot believe that the majority of German think that way. After all they are really big in solar. New building have to have solar cell on the roof.

It is pretty obvious that those peoples are tied to petro business.

Definitely not the majority.

There’s no reason people need to be FORCED to buy electric cars. Of course in Germany, the government likes to force people to do things. EVs can sell themselves, they are simply better than gas cars. There is always going to be a certain amount of cars that will be running on gas, just as people still drive model T fords for fun, and these are exempted from the emission control laws.

Its kinda funny to me that “liberals” believe that everyone needs to be forced to do things by the government. What is “liberal” about that?

Conservatives rail about losing their freedoms, but they rarely talk about the responsibilities that must accompany those freedoms. When people aren’t responsible, and their irresponsibilities harm others, governments not only have the right but the responsibility to protect their people by “forcing” irresponsible people to be responsible.

In this context, those who refuse to believe the overwhelming science that climate change is real and dangerous are being irresponsible and are harming others, so governments should take away their freedom to continue behaving irresponsibly by buying gas-guzzling vehicles, for example.

You don’t believe it either. Is the world ending in 12 years? So you have only an electric car? Solar panels? Off the grid? If you really believed the world is ending you would. No, you are just another hypocrite.

It has usually been the history of Western countries that the old rich and the bigots ally over their shared interest in protecting the privileges and injustices of the past, and call themselves “conservative,” while lauding the Good Old Days when government was weak and limited enough to be overawed by local oligarchs. The “liberals” started as the apologists for the new money of capitalism and industry, but when those became the Establishment and the defenders of conservative inequality in turn, succeeding generations of liberals were radicalized into opposition to their injustices (see “robber barons” vs. “trust-busters”) on both economic and cultural fronts. Basically, conservatives became the partisans for the inevitable polarization of wealth that occurs in unregulated markets (seen in the Gilded Age and today) and liberals became the grab-bag of everybody else who opposed this. Subsequent issues that arose like civil rights and pollution fell into that existing dichotomy of “tradition” versus “big government.” I repeat, free markets naturally polarize wealth. They’ve been doing it for 2500 years. Athenian democracy occurred due to a revolution against the concentration of land into the hands of fewer and fewer landowners circa 500 bc. The victorious revolutionaries forcibly redistributed wealth between… Read more »

Conservatives who rail about “liberals” forcing everyone to do things either grew up after the McCarthy era, or else they have rather selective memories.

My father, who at the time worked for the State of Kansas, once had to sign an oath of loyalty to the United States, swearing that he (a) was not affiliated with nor a member of the Communist Party, (b)did not subscribe to any communist or “socialist” periodicals, and (c) did not support or advocate any “un-american” ideas or philosophy. It was made clear to him that if he didn’t sign it — which he did only under protest — that he would have been fired from his job.

So don’t try to sell me a bill of goods about self-described “conservatives” being the champions of freedom. I know better. All too many on the far right would love to see the First Amendment have many restrictions placed upon it, or even entirely disappear.

If you really want to save the planet vote the current moron in the whitehouse and just about every current republican and vote in people that have a pro USA , EV, wind, solar energy policies. No excuse for the USA not leading in these technologies.

The Saudi’s trying to get at least to 87 dollars a barrel will probably be the best incentive for EV’s this year, it sure isn’t any of this administration’s and his lapdog R congress policies!

I, too, am frustrated that the USA is not leading in solar, wind, & EV technology. Given the quality of our higher education institutions, there’s really no excuse for not leading.

A policy of having the USA stick with fossil fuels is a policy of turning America into a 3rd world country.

Your second paragraph is probably the essential future planned by the Kochs. They know the corporate elites in more advanced industries will simply flee America for other host bodies like China. That leaves an America of resource extraction industries; oil, timber, grain. Owned by family companies like the Kochs often associated with the extreme right. Which in turn advocates the return to a golden past of local oligarchs and religion holding back democracy. It sounds pretty 3rd world to me.

First of all: One guy != Germany. When writing about the VW-scandal in every article, that has to do with any german car, why does Evannex not tell the true story, that american and italian combustion engines are and have been even worse and that nowadays german manufacturers are spending billions for electrification and will have many many models on the market in just 1-2 years. What is Ford doing, what is GM doing (except the Bolt)? What is Fiat or Toyota doing? Yes, german companies are the biggest fear of Tesla. Evannex seems to be more concerned of their sales and stock than the environment. What resources are Evannex products made out of? Renewable materials or made in China out of oil? When talking about Germany, why are they never talking about renewable energies, that nobody in the world would care about today, if germans would not have pumped hundreds of billions in the market to get down costs via the EEG-law. Why don’t they complain about excessive consumption in the US and the emissions of meat production, which is a much bigger problem than dieselgate or ICE-cars in the US in general. By writing negative about everything not… Read more »

They should put is head under a tailpipe and breath that dirty air yellow vest protester

They should have a debate these German professors and I’ll bet you the one that have electric car baking will win

The best way to shut up the sore diesel losers is to show them your BEV’s tail lights at the next red light.
Or: here is a steep hill will several hairpin turns, but four lanes. It’s fun to overtake the ICE cars uphill at the end of the hairpin turn as if they were not moving at all. 😀

Sure, that will alleviate their struggle with getting to work in Stuttgart. Thanks, Marie Antoinette.

But they’re claiming that electric cars don’t work! So if they know the electric cars outperform their cars, they’re lying. If they have a complaint, they should use honest arguments or they deserve no pity. Especially lies about CO2 emissions, which they clearly don’t care about.

They wont give up so soon. As the market share of diesel dwindles, slowly they will realize.
Seems these guys should be global warming deniers.

That’s next. It’s been reported that the far-right movements in Western Europe are for the first time adopting denier memes.

Dear Germany,

Please stop gassing the general populace


Did anyone notice the NON coverage of students worldwide calling for renewable future? Instead we get a few dozens of Fossil fuel shills in a couple of locations dominating the headlines.

It couldn’t be more obvious. A $7 trillion profit industry (big oil, Legacy auto) isn’t just going to lay down quietly and get disrupted.

As for deisel it’s CRITICAL to the refinery process to find and keep a market. Refining a barrel of crude doesn’t JUST result in gasoline. Diesel, kerosene and many other small amounts of other petroleum liquids are produced. It’s CRITICAL to the oil industry to keep a market for diesel. Banning the cars then Electric semis will put them in a MAJOR bind. What to do with all the diesel produced from refining gasoline. Well, no worries if gasoline is replaced in proportion to diesel.

EVERY single BEV sold replaces 10,000 gallons of future gas need with 100,000 Kw of electric need. Approximately 1/3 of an average US solar install. Remember that when thinking about Home solar. You’ll need 30% more.

“Did anyone notice the NON coverage of students worldwide calling for renewable future?”

There certainly was a major segment about that on the PBS News Hour. Perhaps there wasn’t as much coverage as you think it deserved, but it’s not like there was a media conspiracy to utterly ignore those demonstration marches and speeches.

“EVERY single BEV sold replaces 10,000 gallons of future gas need…”

Methinks that’s a bit too optimistic.

A 30 MPG gasmobile driven 15,000 miles per year for 7 years uses only 3500 gallons of gas. Unless you think the average BEV will last 20 years, then your number doesn’t represent a reasonable average.

“A postman doesn’t like emails, either.” What a great line!!!

Re VW, this from the BBC may be of interest to some:

If you don’t read it all, just the last couple of lines may show how things are moving………. what is uppermost in VW executives minds.

Why on earth nobody is saying GDI’s emitting far more particles than current diesel? Even recent GDI cars with GPF emits up to 10~100 times more particles than diesel cars in number on real roads. The data is published on the ACEA web page. Imagine how much particles come out from a GDI car without GPF. It is true that NOx makes fine particles via reactions with volatile hydrocarbons which are mostly coming out from gasoline engines. Comparing recent diesel and gasoline with direct injection, I would say diesel is cleaner.