Top Automotive Engineer Calls Tesla “A Failure”…Demand For Electric Vehicles “Has Reached An Absolute Low Point”!

UPDATED 13:52 CET

As part of the 35th Vienna Motor Symposium, German online financial daily Handelsblatt here has an interview with leading automotive engine design expert Prof. Fritz Indra, who says that much of the talk about electric vehicles is “hype” and calls the Tesla “a failure”.

Indra, 75, is now retired after a long career in developing engines for BMW Alpina, Audi and General Motors. He now acts as a consultant.

Demand for electric cars reach “absolute low point”

The Handelsblatt writes that internal combustion engines have made huge technological leaps in progress when it comes to efficiency and cleanliness. And when asked about the most recent trend for electric vehicles, Indra tells the Düsseldorf-based financial daily that this year there was not even a single presentation on electric vehicles, and that the demand “has reached an absolute low point.”

Skewed statistics and “environmental fraud”

Indra tells the Handelsblatt that countries like Norway and USA have stopped or plan to curb their generous subsidies for electric cars. He says Germany’s target of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 is wildly exaggerated. “In reality it won’t even be 100,000 vehicles.” He then tells the Handelsblatt that they may get the figure to look respectable by skewing the statistics by including hybrid cars and electric bikes in the count.

Indra also calls both plug-in-hybrids and electric cars “an environmental fraud“, adding that the subsidies for electric cars are very expensive and points out that Norway is stopping some of the subsidies and that the USA curbed them after 60,000 vehicles. These are two rich countries!

Moreover he says China ought to impose an “electric car driving ban” as a first step to help clean up its air pollution.

Tesla “a failure”

Indra also believes that the Tesla will be a failure “because every year the company makes huge losses and the market is not big enough.” Moreover he describes how its batteries are technically inadequate, and that Tesla owners face huge replacement costs later on: “The customers are going to wonder.” He calls Elon Muskprobably the best PR man in the world“.

He also believes the electric car market is “almost saturated”.

Indra feels that the future remains in combustion engines due to their tremendous technological progress with regards to fuel efficiency, cleanliness and practicality.

Finally, WUWT reports on how Teslas really get recharged.

37 responses to “Top Automotive Engineer Calls Tesla “A Failure”…Demand For Electric Vehicles “Has Reached An Absolute Low Point”!”

  1. Robert Fahey

    1. Tesla posts “huge losses” only because it reinvests its profit toward growth. Investors know that. Why doesn’t this guy?

    2. Neither Norway nor USA has stopped EV incentives.

    3. Every major automaker is moving into alternative powertrains, either EV or fuel cell, for a reason. They know the clock is ticking on gas cars.

    4. “Environmental fraud” presumably refers to the coal-fired origin of electricity nowadays. Apparently this guy has never heard of Solar City or Tesla Energy.

    1. Karl Rannseyer

      Sorry, but you are wrong about Norway. Indra did not say Norway has stopped but he said Norway will stop the spending of taxpayers money to the fans of electric cars. The date is the 1st June, then we will see how many Tesla’s or other „clean“ electrical cars will end in a Norwegian garage on the el-plug. I personally know a few people that only have paid for an E-Car because of the subsidies and other goodies, ride on the bus lanes, free parking in the inner city, free electrical load including, no payment for the road etc. pp..
      All this will disappear or has stopped month before.
      Only the stopping of freedom of city toll has dropped the sale on E-Cars.

  2. sven

    Could be very well like this . . . and as we are in a world where cars are not invented yet and also following that petrol and diesel are not needed thera is no need for this OR are those om this markets already good with what´s om the market, their own products??

  3. Ja varav hjärtat är fullt ……… | pappasven
  4. sod

    He is wrong about Norway, even the conservative government is keeping many subsidies for EVs.

    http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150512/ANE/150519968/norway-reaffirms-electric-car-subsidies-after-boom

    He is also wrong on China, which could be past peak coal.

    http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2015/05/14/china-coal-consumption-drops-further-carbon-emissions-set-to-fall-by-equivalent-of-uk-total-in-one-year/

    The cities of China, with the vast number of electric motorbikes , are showing how mobility will happen in the city of the future.

  5. DirkH

    Ah, I love it when Green zero-growth Warmunist Leftists defend the production of Musk’s vanity cars for the upper class financed by money extorted from the under- and middle class “to save the planet”; you’re a riot, guys! Keep it up!

  6. DirkH

    …also, isn’t it beautiful: The red-green politicies of Germany have driven electricity prices into the absurd… the very fuel required by the electric cars desired by those same red-green Politicians…

    I guess this settles the “Stupid Or Evil” question.

  7. sod

    ” The red-green politicies of Germany have driven electricity prices into the absurd… the very fuel required by the electric cars desired by those same red-green Politicians… ”

    Driving an EV will basically always be cheaper than a car running on gas.

    If you do the math (and have the spare money for the front-up investment of a new car…), EVs will often work out CHEAPER than the alternative.

    http://grist.org/business-technology/whats-the-cheapest-new-car-to-drive-hint-its-an-ev/

    1. DirkH

      “Driving an EV will basically always be cheaper than a car running on gas.”

      a) when the price of the car is subsidized
      b) when the replacement battery is subsidized as well
      c) and you will also need a subsidized electricity price – as your warmunist friends have made electricity a luxury good in Germany
      d) and you better hope gasoline stays as taxed to the hilt (70% of consumer price are taxes and fees in Germany)

    2. DirkH

      “If you do the math (and have the spare money for the front-up investment of a new car…), EVs will often work out CHEAPER than the alternative.”

      Bollocks. I drive 800 km a week – 400 each direction. That rules out all noddycars already. As your warmunist friends have made LPG tax free in Germany – as it , ROTFLMAO , kills the planet less than gsoline – I’m paying AMERICAN PRICES for the fuel. First and last time I have to thank the warmunist lunatics for their irrational decisions.

      1. Graeme No.3

        DirkH:
        Do you pass sod on his electric bicycle on the autobahn in winter?

    3. DirkH

      …for diehard crazies like you I have once computed – while I was programming the control unit of a battery storage pack – like the one Musk just markets, only 5 years earlier and with equally catastrophic results, namely zero sales – I have once computed the cost of ONE kWh as it goes into the battery and out again, with all the losses, and battery depreciation cost – my estimate was and is . ONE EURO. Per kWh. I assumed an input price of the kWh of 5 Eurocent; actually that price is basically immaterial to the total cost…

      Now, if you’re capable of using Google, you can easily find out how many kWh your noddycar eats up for 100 km… and the result is…

      …forget it…

  8. DirkH

    von Storch goes full warmunist, predicts great warming for Baltic Sea, no word of Global Warming’s end in 1998. All based on their crackpot models.
    http://www.shz.de/schleswig-holstein/panorama/vier-grad-waermer-erderwaermung-in-der-ostsee-weiter-als-anderswo-id9820126.html

  9. JB

    Could this be why the batteries that would have been used in EVs are now being promoted for household use?

  10. John F. Hultquist

    In the middle of the 1850s there was awareness of the increasing problems of horses in urban environments. By the 1950s the horse problem was solved. The technology to solve the problem was on the horizon, as it likely is today regarding fossil fuel transportation. Picking the winners is a legitimate challenge for venture capitalists. Politicians and fellow travelers are meddling well beyond their smarts-level.

  11. stevejust

    I don’t speak German, but I’m pretty sure this is a strong rebuttal that shows this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about:

    http://www.welt.de/motor/news/article140059503/Tesla-in-Deutschland.html

    From the article:

    Für den amerikanischen Hersteller ist das ein Rekord, der Deutschland-Chef Philipp Schröder noch etwas besser schmeckt, weil von zwei selbstgewählten Konkurrenten BMW 7er und Porsche Panamera im März deutlich weniger Exemplare verkauft wurden (170 bzw. 153 Stück) als von seiner elektrischen Oberklasse-Limousine. 1.500 Model S fahren nach seiner Aussage derzeit auf deutschen Straßen. Im vergangenen Jahr konnte Tesla 815 Neuzulassungen für sich verbuchen, 2013 (Verkaufsstart August) waren es 183. Noch in diesem Jahr scheint Tesla ernsthaft ins Flottengeschäft einsteigen zu wollen: Derzeit befindet sich eine eigene Leasinggesellschaft im Aufbau, die Geschäftskunden Angebote liefern soll.

    1. sod

      You are right about the article.

      It is interesting to me, that in one of the last topics, the main theme were “cycles” (in climate developments), but the same people completely ignore “cycles” in business.

      People will keep buying Tesla cars, as long as it is new and “cool”.

      Then sales will stall, until another reason is found to buy a Tesla (or people will buy other EVs).

      Then the mega factory for batteries will kick in, drop the price and another wave of people will buy the cheaper Tesla, until that market runs dry again.

      ——————-

      But obviously the way things are, at every single downturn of sales, people on this blog will proclaim the end of the electric car (and these are people, who would consider themselves experts on “cycles”!!!).

      The truth is simple: small mobile devices are speeding up battery development and will reach breakthrough after breakthrough.

      At the same time, the electric car has several massive advantages, especially in cities (no pollution, short distances, easy recharge).

      1. DirkH

        “The truth is simple: small mobile devices are speeding up battery development and will reach breakthrough after breakthrough.”

        Well. I don’t see ANY breakthrough. One Lithium atom holds one electrobn and that’s it. There’s no lighter atom to use . What do you suggest? Self-stabilizing Electron vortices?

      2. DirkH

        “At the same time, the electric car has several massive advantages, especially in cities (no pollution, short distances, easy recharge).”

        No pollution in the making of the battery which is depleted after 100,000 km?

  12. Alan Dean Foster

    This article is really reprinted from The Onion, right?

    1. sod

      No, i am sorry. This is the sort of information, that is forming the opinion of people here.

      It is interesting, that they simply ignore the fact, tha Prof. Indra is plain out wrong on Norway.

      http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL5N0Y330020150512?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

      There we see a conservative government making adjustments, but leaving big parts of the subsidies intact as planned.

  13. yonason

    green-handicapped parking only

    Proof positive they suffer from a mental disability.

  14. sod

    “Finally, WUWT reports on how Teslas really get recharged.”

    Why not stick to the Norway example? Just because the EVs there get charged with alternative power?

    1. AndyG55

      Norway uses HYDRO, because it can. 98.5% Hydro for electricity.

      Hydro is the ONLY reliable, solid, base load capable so-called renewable.

      Hydro is NOT an “alternative”, it is a main-stay wherever it is viable.

      Wind and solar provide basically zero electricity in Norway.

      I bet you knew that, too.

  15. sod

    “Wind and solar provide basically zero electricity in Norway.”

    well, in 2014 wind did provide 2. 2 TWh and Norway and Sweden are planning to increase their wind output to 26 TWh in 2020.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/18/norway-windpower-idUSL5N0VR2Q520150218

    Places with plenty of hydro can benefit from adding wind/solar, as this might be cheaper and a diversity of power sources has many advantages.

    That combined hydro/wind will then start to drive out fossil fuels from neighbour states. Just sit and watch.

    1. DirkH

      Well, but Norway is a Schurkenstaat – their wealth is based on delivering hydrocarbons to the rest of the world. Make them stop! They kill the planet!

      1. sod

        Why are you not taking a serious look at this matter. Why is an oil producing country investing in electric cars?

        Why is Saudi Arabia starting to move big into solar power?

        http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/89260b8a-ffd4-11e4-bc30-00144feabdc0.html

        I am curious to hear your explanation!

        1. DirkH

          Sod, Saudi has reacted on the drop in oil prices by amping up production as much as they can! Make them stop! They are killing the planet! Why doesn’t Greenpeace send 20 of their heroes to chain themselves to the Kaaba! Or sink the Rainbow Warrior in the Gulf straits to block the world’s biggest oil shipping lane! You are all empty words, no action, why do I get the feeling you are not REALLY worried about “Global Warming”?

  16. sod

    Funny fact, found on WUWT:

    100% of new electricity installed in the US in April was alternative power.

    http://www.triplepundit.com/2015/05/solar-wind-100-aprils-new-electric-generation-capacity/

    1. David Johnson

      Yes, bad news isn’t it. What a waste of money and the poor will suffer as a result, but then, you and your ilk care not a damn for them.

  17. Craig Austin

    The electric starter motor killed the electric car, overy 100 years ago. Tesla is a Ponzi scheme not a automobile company, he just packs Panasonic laptop batteries into various containers and cashes government cheques, on land and in space.

  18. Mervyn

    Henry Ford gave us a car for the people, but Germany produced the most successful car of the people … the VW Beetle. And we all know why the Beetle became such a global success.

    Electric cars do not even begin to meet any of the criteria that made the Ford or Beetle successful. In fact, electric cars are seen more as a car for the wealthy … a sort of green status symbol that most ordinary people, trying to make ends, cannot even relate to, let alone afford.

    1. AndyG55

      An electric car, for the sort of driving I do in Australia, it just isn’t going to be viable!!

      Give me my 5.7L V8 Holden Commodore any day,
      or one of my friends’ beefed up 4×4’s for off-roading. 🙂