“The electric illusion”
The diesel emissions fraud scandal has given impetus to calls for a swift transition to electric cars in Germany, but despite great technological progress, the technology continues to be too expensive and impractical to replace conventional cars, Christian Wüst writes in Der Spiegel. Driving at the recommended maximum speed of 130 kilometres per hour on German highways greatly reduces the range even of advanced e-car models, such as those made by US manufacturer Tesla, and increasing the capacity of charging stations to significantly reduce the time needed for refilling a battery would put immense strain on the grid and Germany’s power production, Wüst says. “Germans would consume a great part of their fruits harvested with the Energiewende with e-cars alone,” Wüst argues, adding that this would not even include the massive energy needs of battery cell production. However, Jochen Hermann, engineer at carmaker Daimler, says no German company would turn away from e-cars anymore. “For a lack of a better idea”, Wüst adds.