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 Musk “probably 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.