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