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Column in Welt Am Sonntag

Discussion in 'Europe -' started by dpeilow, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

    May 23, 2008
    Winchester, UK
    Spotted this in Welt Am Sonntag. 'Fraid my German isn't up to translating it but there seems to be some EV bashing going on.

  2. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

    Jul 7, 2013
    Portland, OR, USA
    quick and dirty translation, my comments / explanations / context in orange

    EVs or Ice Cream
    EVs - previously a hot commodity and pushed by the (German) Federal government are not exactly doing well in the market. Why is that? Or was it an absurd idea from the get go?
    Broder: The Federal government has given up its plan to have a million EVs on the roads by 2020. So far fewer than 24,000 have been registered, so 2.4% of the target number. Could this be the beginning of the end of the "Energiewende" (the term used to describe the shift of energy production in Germany to be based on renewables instead of fossil fuels and nuclear power)?
    Posener: More likely the end of the implementation by command economy. Since 2008 there have already been 280,000 EVs sold in the US. But that's also only a quarter of the target number Barack Obama defined as the 2015 goal. Simply put: progress is slower than expected. But there is progress.
    Broder: Correct. A snail can't crawl backwards. And I'm not against EVs. If you already own two cars, you can buy an EV as third car. I'm simply asking how the government can claim competency to set a direction on a topic like this. A million EVs in 2020. That's command economy.
    Posener: That's what I'm saying. Command economy. If the government instead were to subsidize the purchase price to match the cost of an ICE until 1 million EVs have been sold we'd be there by now. And people like you would complain that when walking around they'd stumble across the charging cables.
    Broder: What else do you want the government to subsidize? EVs? The "Energiewende". The installation of wind turbines? The point is: we are dealing with people operating on the basis of trial and error. They make a plan, show optimism and then move on - just like kids that get tired of their toys. If they are this wrong with EVs, how can I trust this people when it comes to their predictions on climate change?
    Posener: Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany dropped by more than 4% last year, in the UK twice that. Those are highly industrialized nations and btw the most successful economies in Europe. The European Energy Agency expects that the EU will exceed its goal to reduce greenhouse emissions by 2020 by 20% compared to 1990. But you're right. Facts are meaningless if you have strong prejudices.
    Broder: Don't talk badly about my prejudices. Do you really believe that the greenhouse emissions dropped because a few people are driving EVs? Just to make sure: EVs need be refueled as well, with electricity that needs to be generated. The cost and emissions created there need to be taken into consideration.
    Posener: Wow, you are so completely clueless. Daimler-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche - not exactly an environmentalist - thinks that the total emissions created by an EV are about 10% better than a diesel, based on the current energy production mix prevalent in the EU.
    Broder: If you are using Zetsche as expert than I'll bring my own expert: Jürgen Trittin (Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety from 1998 to 2005 in Germany) who in 2004 stated that the renewable electricity law in Germany "wouldn't cost more than about one Euro per month" per household. "As much as a ball of ice cream". (and that certainly was as correct a prediction as most any other prediction of the cost of anything, ever, by a politician)
  3. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Broder, hmmmmm...

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