“Germany’s naïve faith in the car god”
Many industry observers in Germany warn that a mandatory e-car quota equals a “planned economy” and violates free market rules, “but it seems that the free market economy does not know where to go from here either”, Thomas Fricke writes in a column for Spiegel Online. The quota proposed by the Social Democrats’ (SPD) frontrunner for chancellor, Martin Schulz, indeed amounted to state intervention for Germany’s economy, Fricke says. “But there are few cases of great technological innovation in history in which the state did not have at least some degree of influence,” he argues. Initial investments often were too high for private companies as profits are not guaranteed with new products, which in the case of the e-car could be seen with the lacking investments in charging infrastructure, Fricke says.
Read the column in German here.
See the CLEW factsheet on The debate over and end to combustion engines in Germany for background.