Electric Autos Could Threaten 250,000 High Paying German Jobs, Experts Warn

I’ve written on a couple of occasions about how some in the German government are demanding that Germany start banning the internal combustion engine already by 2030 and switch to electric cars — a radical proposal to say the least.

elektro-autos_in-rom

Photo right by Marco Verch, CC BY 2.0

Some two weeks ago the online FOCUS magazine commented on this here, writing, however, that “the electric car is an economic disaster” and that some experts believe that the “German automotive industry has no chance to survive“.

It needs to be mentioned that the German auto industry is the backbone of the German economy, as it is directly and indirectly responsible for 1 of every 5 jobs. This makes it the logical place to begin for any anyone harboring a desire to destroy the German industrial base.

FOCUS quotes future expert Stephan Rammler:

Replacing 40 million internal combustion engine cars with 40 million electric cars makes no sense. As long as we have no closed loop economy, the electrification and digitalization will lead to an economic disaster.”

Rammler then goes on to predict that the German auto industry would never survive such a transformation because the competition in Asia is already able to make products that are just as good, citing Borgward or Lynk & Co., who are already planning to sell in Germany.

According to auto industry expert Professor Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, 250,000 German jobs of a total of 800,000 directly in the auto industry are at risk, especially jobs with mid-size automotive suppliers.

In a video posted by FOCUS here, Sebastian Viehmann explains that the lost jobs would result from the simplification of the cars. For example an internal combustion engine has some 1200 parts, while an electric motor has only 17. Suppliers for the individual parts and assemblies would no longer be needed. Also electric cars would become such a simple product that they could be snapped up at a supermarket in the same way a shopper buys a toaster. Automotive dealerships and repair shops would become redundant.

When looking at self-driving, autonomous cars, the insurance industry would also end up losing lots of business. In the event of an accident, the manufacturer would be liable, and not the driver. Many drivers would likely welcome that.

A lot of these changes of course can be viewed as advantages for the consumers, and highly skilled workers would be freed up to focus on other technical challenges and development.

But there are still the questions surrounding range and batteries, and the environmental impacts the manufacture and disposal of the batteries would have. Moreover, does it make sense to rush in a panic into a technology that is still a long way from being feasible? Perhaps a gradual, flexible transition over 50 – 75 years would make more sense.

Furthermore, internal combustion engines have made great strides when it comes to efficiency and cleanliness. In some categories they offer huge advantages.

 

33 responses to “Electric Autos Could Threaten 250,000 High Paying German Jobs, Experts Warn”

  1. Curious George

    This is a very Luddite article. When (and if) a good battery comes, combustion engine cars will be obsolete. Fortunately for Germany, we are not there – yet.

    1. lemiere jacques

      right

    2. Green Sand

      Only when there is a secure, reliable and cost effective energy supply available, on demand, of a sufficient magnitude to charge the batteries of every electric vehicle on the road at anytime. Until then combustion engine vehicles will prevail.

      Good batteries are the same as bad batteries only difference being the range. The amount of energy stored in the battery still has to be generated. Losses in energy transfer will be reduced but of a similar magnitude to gains to be achieved for IC units.

      Primary energy generation has to be the major area of development

    3. John Silver

      Good batteries and super capacitors have always been just around the corner.
      Always will be.

      1. Les Francis

        Exactly. just around the corner for the last 100 years or so

        1. Analitik

          I’m confident they’ll be available when fusion comes online.

  2. Stephen Richards

    And in any case, H2 cars are likely to supersede battery before 2030

    1. Curious George

      Agreed. A good fuel cell (not necessarily a hydrogen one would do the trick; I like the idea of a self-diving car running on ethanol). Probably also easier to recharge than a battery.

      1. John Silver

        A fuel cell that runs on gasoline or diesel would have an instant infra-structure.

        1. AndyG55

          chuckle.. 😉

  3. John F. Hultquist

    A battery is a storage device, not a (first) source of power. This is a big problem because something has to produce electricity to store, while also running the rest of society. Waiting, waiting, …

    Auto sales in Germany are running at 3.4 million for 2016. [USA; over 18 M]
    If Germany is to have 40 million autos replaced while also producing 3 ½ million new ones per year, there will be jobs for recyclers and scrap dealers, battery makers, charging appliance makers, and on and on. This can happen slowly and there will be many benefits. Or it can be forced to happen rapidly with a great loss of wealth and significant unknown consequences, most bad. First the battery (or whatever) and the power source need to be invented. So, right, we are not there yet.

    Years ago a friend quit working for a large milling machine company and became a dentist. Not the same person but we know of a dentist that does … ,
    “… oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from wisdom tooth removal to dental implant surgery; also, diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries, and perform a full range of dental implant and bone grafting procedures.

    Many auto construction jobs have been and continue to be given over to robotic counterparts. Which would you rather see your children doing – watching a machine paint cars or conducting dental implant and bone grafting procedures?

  4. crosspatch

    This would require shifting 30% of Germany’s entire energy consumption to the electric grid, or basically doubling the load on the current distribution system. It would seem to me that they ought to get the current system stable before they double the load on it.

    This will be impossible without restarting Germany’s nuclear power stations.

  5. sod

    “This would require shifting 30% of Germany’s entire energy consumption to the electric grid, or basically doubling the load on the current distribution system.”

    No. The switch to electric cars is in the same ballpark as the switch to LEDs with opposite directions.

    Obviously jobs will be lost, because the electric car has fewer complex parts. And because German car industry invested massively into a really stupid technology (diesel).

    But the important thing now, is being at the head of the change to electric cars.

  6. sod

    By the way, Trump has made his EPA pick, a mouthpiece of the oil industry:

    ” But sometimes they’re literal. Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s pick to head the EPA, is a mouthpiece and a puppet of the fossil-fuel industry. He’s a stenographer.

    How do we know this? We know this because in 2014 Pruitt sent a letter to that same EPA in his capacity as attorney general of Oklahoma. The letter argued that the agency was dramatically overstating how much pollution new gas wells in his state were causing.

    He was wrong (the EPA has actually dramatically underestimated the pollution from fracking, as they’ve lately admitted), but never mind that. What was interesting was the letter.

    It turned out that it had been written by the good folks at Devon Energy, a local oil and gas company. And Pruitt had taken their words, and put it on his letterhead, and passed it on to the EPA as the official position of the state.”

    So good news for the German car industry: The US are taking two steps back, while we are doing a (small) step forward.

    Trump is already starting to hurt the US economy. badly.

    And the EPA will fight back against such an obvious shill. badly.

  7. DirkH

    Once all those engineers are no longer needed to develop ICEs because the ICE business is dead, they can develop security solutions. As Germany is headed into internal war, there’ll be a YUUUUGE opportunity.

  8. Doug Proctor

    Most people, most of the time, would be served perfectly well by a short-range electric vehicle. Perhaps tariffs are necessary to get them made in Germany. Protection of the community is a core value of all societies: capitalism is an economic not a social system.

    We frown on the economic predation of 19th century capitalists. The CEOs of 2016 who move their plants to China to sell theie products to Germans or Americans are no different from their antecedents in the 1800s. There is no reason to accept it a second time around.

  9. Billy

    *In the event of an accident, the manufacturer would be liable, and not the driver. Many drivers would likely welcome that.*

    For that reason, the self diving car will not be a viable product for public use. Business suicide, uninsurable. There will be industrial applications on private roads.

  10. AndyG55

    If you want a self-drive car.. Use the train.

    Seriously… the whole fun of driving is to DRIVE. !!!

    Otherwise you are just a soulless automaton.

    1. AndyG55

      Why is it that so many far-leftists want to sit there like a dumb lump of flesh ?

      nah.. don’t bother answering that question. !

  11. Mindert Eiting

    Sorry, Andy, but I do not feel like a soulless automaton or a far-left dumb lump of flesh while using the train. I love this type of transport (especially the Thalys) one of the best inventions of the nineteenth century. It seems that if you get an accident with an electric car, rescue workers cannot help you because of the risk of electrocution. Nothing for me.

    1. AndyG55

      Don’t get me wrong…I also enjoy a nice train trip.

      The scenery from Newcastle to Sydney is amazing at time.

      Not sure how long that will last though

      http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/hornsby-advocate/hawkesbury-river-railway-bridge-is-safe-and-will-continue-to-operate-as-the-repair-job-is-assessed/news-story/3da833c85b8ff7fc8ea88e09efb680b5

      Went on a TGV from Paris to Lyon several years ago.. that was fun too.. but so was the slower train from Nice to Bordeaux

      But a auto-drive car.. seriously.. no fun at all… NO THANKS. !!

      ps.. Just because I drive a 5.7L V8…I am not a hoon.. really I’m not !! 😉

    2. Analitik

      Michael, Andy was describing the autonomous car experiencee as being soulless, especially if solitary, not a train trip. A train gives you room for many more experience than a car allows, unless you’re packed in like sardines.

      And just because I drive a diesel econobox and try to set personal mileage records doesn’t mean I’m not a hoon – not going by the comments of those I pass on the racetrack, anyway.

      Meanwhile, sod continues to demonstrate a total lack of mathematical ability comparing transport energy requirements to lighting

      1. sod

        “Meanwhile, sod continues to demonstrate a total lack of mathematical ability comparing transport energy requirements to lighting2

        it is the same size.

        on electric cars:

        “However the most widely accepted published attempt to answer the question was a study commissioned by Xcel Energy in 2008. They were trying to answer the question of 75% market penetration of EV’s. The answer they got for their coverage territory (mostly Minnesota and Colorado) was 14%. ”

        https://www.quora.com/If-all-cars-in-the-US-suddenly-become-electric-how-much-more-electricity-do-we-need-to-produce-in-percentage

        and the number for lights:

        “The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2015, about 404 billion kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity were used for lighting by the residential sector and the commercial sector in the United States. This was about 15% of the total electricity consumed by both of these sectors and about 10% of total U.S. electricity consumption.”

        https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=99&t=3

        Oh, the facts, they hurt.

        1. Analitik

          From the quora post

          I’m going to ignore diesel vehicles because the majority of diesel burned in the US is in heavy vehicles where battery-electric drivetrains are not a practical option.

          Sadly (for sodding assumptions) this omission leaves out the consumption of millions of diesel engined pickup vehicles in the US which form a large portion of their passenger fleet.

          And this doesn’t even begin to cover freight road transporting energy consumption.

          Oh, the facts, indeed they hurt.

          I will give that much more use of rail could be made for freight transports (which could be further electrified with massive transmission and locomotion investments).

  12. DirkH

    German companies want to starve non-Leftist News Sites.
    https://dirkhblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/08/boycot-these-german-companies/
    Spread this call for swift retaliation. Thanks.

    1. sod

      “German companies want to starve non-Leftist News Sites.”

      Breitbart is not “non-Leftist News ” it is utterly extreme right.

      German companies are not mostly boycotting it out of political reasons, they know that they get damaged by advertising there.

      1. Streetcred

        Clearly sod as you are absolute LEFT, anything other than your viewpoint would look “utterly extreme right”. I’m afraid the lobotomy was “utterly” successful in your case.

      2. DirkH

        “Breitbart is not “non-Leftist News ” it is utterly extreme right. ”

        Well well well boy; maybe it would strengthen your case to give us examples then.

        1. Analitik

          sod’s non-leftist news sites would include The Guardian, the BBC, the australian ABC and Fairfax, New York Times and probably Socialist International.

      3. DirkH

        We are not utterly extremely anything; we are perfectly reasonable people, which only appears to you as extremist because you have gotten used at getting your way just by complaining enough. Now, that’s over, sod; your Green all-party alliance runs on borrowed time and even their beloved TTIP is now dead in the water. You might experience the inconvenience of having to work for your upkeep when all is said and done. I’m so sorry.

      4. yonason

        @sod

        The boycotting is completely ideological, based on Leftist slanders.

        They don’t want to be associated with anyone who tells the truth, and demands that others do, as well. Why? Because it might expose them for the liars THEY are.

        But, if you think Breitbart is lying about anything, then as DirkH wrote “give us examples” of what “false news” you think they purvey.

        I.e., PUT UP, OR SHUT UP!!!

  13. David Appell

    Re: http://notrickszone.com/2016/12/07/electric-autos-could-threaten-250000-high-paying-german-jobs-experts-warn/

    So the solution is to use less efficient cars in order to keep some out-of-date workers employed. Right.

    When did Germany give up its desire to lead the world in engineering? Was that pre-Volkswagen-fraud, or post it? Or as soon as American defeated you in war?

  14. Elektrische Autos könnten 250.000 hochbezahlte deutsche Arbeitsplätze gefährden – EIKE – Europäisches Institut für Klima & Energie