Germany’s Vision Of Electric Mobility Fades As Renewable Energy Sector Collapses, And Nuclear Power Is Refused

Germany’s rosy vision of electric car mobility, like windmills and solar energy, may have once looked good on paper, but it sure is now taking a licking from reality.

elektro auto Michael Movchin

“In the process of dying off,” says a German auto expert from the University of Duisburg-Essen. Photo credit:  Michael Movchin, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Now the vision is being carried away to the graveyard in a pine box. The greenie Süddeutsche Zeitung (South German Newspaper) reports on the imminent demise of the electric car. H/t: Benny Peiser. The Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

So far it hasn’t worked out. The electric auto, which just a few years ago was idolized as a ‘technological revolution for transportation’, just isn’t taking off. The E-Auto project is in the process of dying”, laments Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, auto expert at the University of Duisburg-Essen. [...] The pioneers, no question about it, are disappointed.”

And:

On paper the revolution is already rolling. But not on the street. To the contrary: some pilot projects are quietly disappearing.”

Not long ago proponents were pitching the vision of electric cars moving almost silently in the city, producing no smog, accompanied by an extensive network of convenient charging points located at every parking lot and at home…”park and charge” everywhere. Most of the electricity of course would come from wind and sun, and the planet would be saved. And no more extreme weather.

German environmentalists, saw it as an opportunity for Germany to show the world how it’s done and thus got the government to invest massively in the electric car infrastructure.

Today, the whole project appears to be in ruins. Powering electric cars, after all, would have required a far greater supply of electricity. But instead of assuring more production of CO2-free electricity, Germany shot the electric mobility project in the heart when it shut down 8 of its 17 nuclear power plants two years ago. Now the country finds itself importing electricity.

Without the plentiful supply of cheap electricity that nuclear reactors provide, there is no chance of electric car success. At the moment Germany is struggling to supply the basic needs of the country, let alone the power that another 50 million cars would need!

Another obstacle for energy for the electric car is that solar energy and wind energy are nowhere near fulfilling expectations. The industry as a whole has been plagued by bankruptcies. Subsidies are now being cranked back.

Other obstacles of course are the high price of electric cars and their lousy range. Who’s ready to pay $40,000 for what is basically a golf cart and peters out after 100 km?

Electric cars probably could work for many in Germany, if there was a cheap, plentiful and steady supply of electricity. But as long a the country remains stubbornly opposed to nuclear power, then forget about powering cars with electricity.

 

29 responses to “Germany’s Vision Of Electric Mobility Fades As Renewable Energy Sector Collapses, And Nuclear Power Is Refused”

  1. DirkH

    A few numbers, let’s look at how many kW an electric noddy car consumes while doing some highway driving.
    A real existing noddycar, the Tazzari zero:
    http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17162
    Tazzari estimates average electricity consumption of 0.135 kW/h per km.
    So that’s 13.5 kWh in 100 km (13.5 kW assuming you take an hour for the drive; sounds realistic for a small all electric noddycar, the hulking Chrysler Volt consumes 19 kW but has more weight).

    13.5 kw for 26 Eurocent cost 3.51 EUR. Assuming a gasoling car would need 7 l, at a price of say 1.35 EUR/l that’s 9.45 EUR. A small LPG powered car would probably do it for half that, or 4.725 EUR. Adding LPG technology to an existing gasoline car costs 2500 EUR. Cars equipped in such a way from the car makers are also about 2500 EUR more expensive.

    The only tax on LPG is VAT, as our warmist govt thinks it harms the climate less.
    German Gasoline prices OTOH are so heavily taxed, only 30% of the end price pay for the actual fuel.

    So we have:
    3.51 EUR – electric noddy car with a range of 100 km. Car price 24,000 EUR.
    Charging time 9 hours, top speed 90 km/h. Tazzari says the battery will do 80,000 km. Price of replacement battery: Can’t find one. Let’s be very generous and call it 5000 EUR. Oops, that adds 6.25 cent/km or 6.25 EUR on a 100 km, we end up with…
    9.76 EUR
    4.725 EUR – LPG car with a range only depending on the tank size. Starting at 12500 EUR.
    9.45 EUR – gasoline car. Starting at 10,000 EUR.

    So the ranking is:
    1. LPG
    2. Gasoline
    3. Electric

    Oops.

    1. Juergen Uhlemann

      Silly question.
      What’s about the tax difference of LPG, Gasoline and Electric?
      How much would change in the ranking?

      1. DirkH

        Gasoline would win over LPG.
        Electric cars would still suffer from battery lifetime.
        A kWh that you pump into a Lithium battery and get it out again becomes a very expensive kWh.

        A more detailed computation has vanished, maybe Pierre finds it somewhere…

  2. Juergen Uhlemann

    I wonder how the French are doing with their electric car sharing in Paris.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autolib%27
    It uses the Bolloré Bluecars http://www.bluecar.fr/en/pages-accueil/default.aspx

    Car sharing is an idea, but only for large cities. Maybe! What if the public transport is good? Then again, I lived in Munich without my own car and rented a car from time to time.
    I guess it depends on the cost and availability.

    For smaller communities a call-a-bus service would be better.

  3. Willem Post

    Below is my article on the Chevy Volt compared with a Honda Civic EX-L

    http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/171561/co2-emissions-and-chevy-volt-vs-honda-civic-ex-l

    1. DirkH

      “It would take 3.8 million Chevy Volts to reduce the same quantity of CO2 emissions/yr as one new, 500 MW, 60%-efficient CCGT plant replacing one, 40-yr-old, 35%-efficient, 500 MW, coal plant. ”

      Beautiful!

  4. Brian G Valentine

    When I was in graduate school in the US in the 1970’s , every scientific textbook we used was published by Springer-Verlag, Berlin. Every single one, in yellow, and no other publisher was used.

    Now we have this from Germany.

    To this day I can not believe it

    1. DirkH

      Well, we had our Marxists as well marching through the institutions.

      The railway station this morning was plastered with giant WWF Death Panda posters looking very serious. Creepy. Why can’t they show a little sympathy for the threatened Anopheles moscito once in a while? Critters are critters.

      1. Mindert Eiting

        There is also good news, Dirk. This weekend on TV a Dutch Labour politician told us that one in two smokers will die.

        1. Jeff Wood

          I am now worried in case I am one of the two smokers condemned to live forever.

          Is it too late to stop smoking?

  5. Bernd Felsche

    I remember somewhat vaguely Henryk Broder’s conversation with a German Green (Renate Künast) in his satirical Deutschland Safari series (episode Guck mal, wie wir überleben!), placing priority on e-mobility; pronouncing the term in Gerlish … Broder was quick to the mark and asked for clarification; if she meant “i-mobility”, hinting at immobility. Germans pronounce the letter “i” as “e”; and the letter “e” more like “eh”; which is btw; just one reason NOT to mix English terminology into German sentences when spoken. Just a handy hint.

    1. DirkH

      It was the English who shifted the vowels, not we. Scots BTW pronounce vowels pretty much like Germans.

      1. Bernd Felsche

        It doesn’t matter who shifted their vowels. Anyway; ISTM that most of “oop North” preserved the vowel sounds more tenaciously than the Norman-influenced South.

        Borrowing vowels back after the shift and then using them erratically is bound to lead to confusion.

        Germans tend to write a shirtload of “English” as German; especially when reporting on foreign events or when “translating” from English. Those Germans who are only fluent in English may well not even notice that they are doing it. They do not appreciate the (often cultural) nuances of context.

  6. Edward.

    NO, “it” never “looked good on paper”, never.

  7. Pethefin

    I suppose this failure is why the EU now is planning to force EU-states to build an extensive network of e-refuelling stations all over Europe:

    http://ec.europa.eu/news/transport/130124_en.htm

  8. Ed Caryl

    Back to the subject: Is there any talk of restarting those nuclear plants?

  9. mwhite

    “Germany Breaks Clean-Energy Taboo In Attack On Price Surge”

    http://www.thegwpf.org/green-investors-panic-germany-breaks-clean-energy-taboo/

    “The government may ask owners of existing renewable-power generators to take a one-time reduction in their so-called feed- in tariff of 1 percent to 1.5 percent, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said today in Berlin. Subsidies to new projects may also be delayed to help curb costs, he said”

    There may be trouble ahead

    1. DirkH

      Reminds me of the “Volksopfer für Wehrmacht und Volkssturm”.
      http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volksopfer_f%C3%BCr_Wehrmacht_und_Volkssturm

      (During the last days of WW2, the N**is called for the population to bring necessities for the equipment of soldiers)

  10. mwhite
  11. Ike

    OT

    SPON has something new on cc. The heat of cities are making winter in Europe colder and in china and Russia warmer ;-)

    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/klima-abwaerme-der-staedte-veraendert-wetter-und-luftdruck-a-880028.html

    or here the source

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1803.html

    Regards
    Ike

    1. DirkH

      So this looks like a trick to convince guilt ridden Western urbanites that even though it gets colder around them it warms everywhere else.

      Nice. The con men don’t give in easy.

  12. Ike

    oh…just saw that Anthony already covered this story. Sry

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