German E-Mobility Headed For Wall…”Ecological Performance Of The E-Car Is Truly Miserable!”

The online site of DW German public broadcasting has a report on electric cars, which are deemed by many as the solution to all of the climate’s and environment’s ills.

Turns out this is hardly the case – at least in Germany.

Over the past weeks much scorn has been aimed at Germany’s mighty automotive industry: VW, Mercedes, BMW and Porsche, to name some. Apparently for many critics they have stalled and moved too slowly in transitioning over the electric drive technology (a technology that would in fact most likely mean the end of the German auto industry itself).

The recent trouble is that evidence is emerging that Germany’s big automotive companies have been colluding in an effort to stonewall e-cars, and thus potentially violating German cartel laws. Now they could be facing billions in fines. The timing couldn’t be worse as the industry is already reeling from exhaust test manipulations and fraud. The situation is now so tense for German automakers that the DW writes:”every false word uttered could cost millions. Likely soon only the lawyers will be talking.”

But the Germany Energiewende (transition to green energies) is also struggling, and is just as disliked as the auto industry. It too is no longer greeted with open arms. Over the years it has turned into a multi-billion euro subsidy pit that has seen solar and wind companies fail on a large scale. The risk: a phase out of conventional power with no reliable green energy source in place to fill in.

What will happen when conventional power plants are shut down, as is the plan in Germany, and combustion engines get phased out? Everyone thinks the e-car is the answer, Böhme writes. But it isn’t and even the German greenie media is finally beginning to sense this. According to DW’s Henrik Böhme:

No one knows if it’s really going to work. the ecological performance of the e-car is truly miserable. You can drive a conventional Mercedes-E Class car 8 years before it reaches the same environmental burden as a Tesla.”

The problem, Böhme writes, is the “millions and millions” of lithium batteries that tens of millions of e-cars are going to need, which means huge mining operations, quantities of toxic processing and ultimately tremendous recycling problems. Also the supply of the raw material is limited, much of it coming from a notoriously politically unstable Rep. of the Congo.

Böhme summarizes:

The problem: When one sees just how amateurishly Germany is running its Energiewende, there is little hope that a transportation transition could work.”


29 responses to “German E-Mobility Headed For Wall…”Ecological Performance Of The E-Car Is Truly Miserable!””

  1. sunsettommy

    It is amazing how this obvious problem manage to slip past small ecoloonie brains:

    “The problem, Böhme writes, is the “millions and millions” of lithium batteries that tens of millions of e-cars are going to need, which means huge mining operations, quantities of toxic processing and ultimately tremendous recycling problems. Also the supply of the raw material is limited, much of it coming from a notoriously politically unstable Rep. of the Congo.”

  2. Bitter&twisted

    Electric cars will only replace the internal combustion car if the people are forced into them by the Law.
    Oh silly me!
    That is exactly what France an d the U.K. Have said they will do.
    Welcome to the Brave New World.

  3. Rud Istvan

    The leading source of lithium carbonate is Bolivia, not Congo.

    1. AndyG55
      1. tom0mason

        It’s not just lithium but also cobalt, tantalum, tungsten, tin, and gold, mined and extracted from ore often in war-torn areas such as eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and used in used in automotive, electronics and computers products worldwide.

    2. tom0mason

      It’s not just lithium. Modern electrons also need gold, tantalum, tin and the high-tech autos often need tungsten alloys.
      From a report from a couple of years ago —

      The so-called conflict minerals are tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold, mined and extracted from ore often in war-torn areas such as eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where the mineral trade has been linked to armed groups that regularly commit mass atrocities, including rape and murder.

    3. Henning Nielsen

      They have very large resources, but have only just begun to tap them. This could be a big gain for Bolivia.

  4. mwhite

    Can’t help thinking that the cost of Lithium will go through the roof.

    1. tom0mason

      And therefore many other countries will find that there harder to extract, and therefore more expensive ores, will become cost effective. Exactly who, where, and whether or not these ‘new’ sources will be conflict free, and ethically extracted we will have to wait and see.

      Market forces will find a way.

      1. tom0mason

        Oops, typo (again…)

        “And therefore many other countries will find that their harder to extract,…”

    2. SebastianH

      Define “through the roof”! How many dollars do you have to spend today to buy the lithium in a 1 kWh battery? How many dollars do we have to spend when that “through the roof” scenario kicks in?

    3. John PAK

      High purity carbon is a major ingredient of Lithium batteries and in short supply. Despite the bleatings of press and pollies I doubt we will see totally electric cars becoming the norm.

  5. Chrisedwards

    And where will the 400% rise in power demand come from? wind and solar?? you are having a laugh! they need 100% back up, coal in Germanys case diesel in the UK, France? already committed to lose 80% of their generation!what a pandoras box they opened

    1. SebastianH

      Why would the demand rise by 400%?

  6. Dan Pangburn

    The irony is fossil fuel use and the CO2 produced has no significant effect on climate.

    The people who believe in AGW caused by CO2 are the people who are denying science. The science of thermalization and the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of molecule energy explain why CO2 does not now, has never had and will never have a significant effect on climate.
    A potentially more important factor to humanity than failing to acknowledge that CO2 has no significant effect on climate is failing to recognize what actually does and that is the increasing atmospheric water vapor. It is the only thing countering the temperature decline that would otherwise be occurring. (‘Otherwise’ results from declining net effect of ocean cycles since 2005 and declining solar activity which has been declining since 2014 and dropped below ‘breakeven’ in early 2016.)

    Average global atmospheric water vapor has been measured and reported by NASA/RSS since 1988 and shows an uptrend of 1.5% per decade. WV has increased about 8% since the more rapid increase began in about 1960.

    Water vapor (WV) is the ghg (greenhouse gas) which makes the planet warm enough for life as we know it. The WV trend is up as reported by NASA/RSS as shown in Fig 3 of This analysis provides the explanation of why CO2 has no significant effect on climate and identifies what does (98% match with measured average global temperatures 1895-2016).

    The warmer temperature is welcome but the added WV increases the risk of precipitation related flooding. IMO all rainwater retaining systems (dams, dikes, etc.) should be upgraded from design for 100 yr floods to design for 10,000 yr floods.

    1. SebastianH

      Ok, so you don’t think CO2 has a significant effect on climate. Fine … but let’s assume thousands of scientists aren’t wrong and that CO2 contributes around 20% to the GHE and water vapor around 70%. So if water vapor increased about 8% since 1960 and CO2 concentration increased 28.5% (315 ppm to 405 ppm), what GHG had the greater increase regarding the GHE? And what part of the water vapor increase is just a feedback of the higher temperatures and what part of the CO2 increase is just caused by higher temperatures?

      1. AndyG55

        STIL EMPTY of any proof that CO2 causes any warming of oceans or convective atmosphere, seb-t

        You are just yapping in the dark, as always.

      2. yonason

        chatbot SebH writes – “let’s assume thousands of scientists aren’t wrong”

        Name some, and I don’t mean the ones we all know and don’t trust, like Michael Mann, James Hanson, Gavin Schmidt, or any of the others who tell us one thing to our face, and the opposite when communicating to themselves as we say in their email dump.

        And, no, water vapor doesn’t give positive feedback. It gives negative, as I’ve posted in response to your previous mindless meanderings on that topic.

        And what’s this “what if” crap? We keep asking you for proof, and you keep giving us unsupported (and false) assertions, and “what ifs.” Here it is AGAIN!

        I expect you to come up with names of scientists for us, btw, and to finally answer AndyG’s questions about how you think you know what you do. Really. Do it, or keep being reminded of what a beyond tedious troll you are.

      3. tom0mason


        “let’s assume thousands of scientists aren’t wrong” why should we?
        Good scientist know they are often wrong!
        Scientists ARE often wrong.
        It is the nature of the job that they are often wrong, without finding out what is not, is a step in finding what is. If scientists do not make errors and mistakes they are not discovering, and without new discoveries there is no science, there is just stale old complacency, a complacency that leads to worthless consensus thinking.

        And a consensus is where there are NO discoveries.

        1. SebastianH

          Do you know that you are “often wrong”?

          1. AndyG55

            Do you know that you are ALWAYS WRONG ??

    2. sunsettommy

      Dan, if we went along with their CO2 warm forcing effect claims,it will still not help them,since around 95% of the postulated effect was already arrived at over 700 MILLION years ago,when it was already over 100 ppm.

      1. SebastianH

        Can you explain your claim? I assume you are referring to the logarithmic nature of the CO2 forcing effect. Is that correct?

        What is the postulated effect of a CO2 doubling? 3.71 W/m² is the scientifically accepted answer to that question … and you are saying that 95% of that already happened? Hmm, I’d say we are roughly at 50-60% right now (280 ppm to 400 ppm increase).

        Or are you trying to say that the CO2 greenhouse effect is already pretty large and those 3.71 W/m² per doubling of the concentration would only represent 5% of the total effect?

        1. AndyG55

          There is NO CO2 EFFECT of warming in a convective atmosphere or of ocean.

          If there were, you would be able to present some ACTUAL EVIDENCE.

          But you have proved conclusively THAT YOU ARE EMPTY.

  7. SebastianH

    You can drive a conventional Mercedes-E Class car 8 years before it reaches the same environmental burden as a Tesla.

    This is a wrong statement.

    Assuming the only CO2 difference in producing both cars is caused by the battery itself, this would mean that compared to a Model S with an 85 kWh battery the E-class emits 12750 – 17000 kg of CO2 (150-200 kg CO2 per kWh) in 8 years.

    At 0.271 kg per km (11.62 litres of gasoline per 100 km), that’s around 47000-62700 km in 8 years or 5881-7841 km per year.

    The average car in Germany drives around 15000. So they assume the E-Class drives just a third or half of that in those 8 years? How realistic is that?

    Instead, the E-Class will have emitted the extra CO2 from the battery production in just 3-4 years (at 15000 km per year). And at 0.11 kg of CO2 per km (Tesla S charged with the electricity mix in Germany), both cars will have emitted the same amount of CO2 after 5.3-7 years (at 15000 km per year). From then on the Tesla S will emit 2415 kg less CO2 per year than the E-Class.

    1. AndyG55

      How long have you been driving your Mercedes , seb-t ?

  8. AndyG55
  9. M E Emberson

    Since we don’t like electric vehicles how about Steam?
    We are allowed to chose petrol or diesel driven vehicles but

    would steam accord with the Party Line?( as in Soviet Union which seems to have still so much effect on German views)

    1. tom0mason

      @M E Emberson 1. August 2017 at 9:00 AM

      Efficiently maximizing performance while minimizing materials use, at a cost customers will pay, is what a free and open market is all about. The use of inefficient methods such as subsidy, and providing products without the performance that customers expects is project doomed to failure. Green products are all about the latter not the former.

      It is not that people do not like electric cars, it is that they do not effectively or efficiently provide the customer with the performance they want.

      I sure if the Greens were to campaign for steam machines the governments would also be subsidizing them like crazy.

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