News Digest Item
15 Oct 2018

German carmakers produce “polluters without exhaust” as they enter e-car market

Der Spiegel

German carmakers Mercedes and Audi enter the e-car market with two e-SUVs, but instead of contributing to reducing emissions in the country’s transport sector, these big and heavy vehicles might even worsen the sector’s climate impact, Christian Wüst writes in Der Spiegel. Audi’s parent company Volkswagen might be proud to have developed an e-car with an acceleration greater than a Formula 1 car, but “it hasn’t understood what an ecologic transformation of the transport sector is all about – a shortcoming that could be extended to the rest of the industry,” Wüst says. “Strong, fast, and heavy” seems to be the dictum for German carmakers, who are fixated on toppling US competitor Tesla in the luxury e-cars segment. Furthermore, “cars without exhaust can be climate polluters,” he writes. As battery production still is very energy-intensive and causes a lot of emissions if powered with fossil fuels, only smaller cars with smaller batteries will bring a benefit compared to combustion engines until more sustainable ways of battery production are found, Wüst says.

Find the article in German here (paywall).

See the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers for more information.

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