2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
At the IAA, the industry is trying to give itself a green paint job with electric vehicles. The environmental groups, however, speak of fraudulent labeling.
By Frank Mertens
«We have to rethink the car.» Federal Research Minister Annette Schavan (CDU) recently set the direction for the auto industry with her statement when she presented the Electromobility Development Plan. The industry has to rethink.
HP number not in the foreground
At the 63rd International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main, she wants to prove that she is capable of this. There the manufacturers try to give their goals a green paint. Unfortunately, in this attempt they all have one thing in common: what they show is far from ready for series production. It's a look into the future. In a future in which mobility will no longer be the way we know it today.
In the future, VW boss Martin Winterkorn announced, the focus will no longer be on the number of horsepower, but on climate protection. Manufacturers have to face this challenge. VW is doing this in addition to increasing the efficiency of its internal combustion engines with the electrically powered mini car E-Up. A car that comes pretty close to the mobility needs of a big city. It is just 3.19 meters long and offers space for four people. It has an electric motor with a peak output of 60 kW and a continuous output of 40 kW. The lithium-ion batteries should enable a purely electric range of 130 kilometers.
As important as electromobility will be in the future, the current hype surrounding this topic is rated as exaggerated by those responsible for VW and other car managers. For example, VW development director Ulrich Hackenberg pointed out that by 2020 the market share of electric cars will only be between 1.5 and 2 percent. Accordingly, the VW Group will continue to direct its development efforts in several directions in the future. In addition to hybrids - mild, full and plug-in hybrids - one focus will be on further increasing the efficiency of internal combustion engines.
For Winterkorn and not only he is certain that the TDI and TSI engines will continue to play a dominant role in decades to come. This is the only way to build a bridge to the future of electromobility. For VW, the E-Up is a start on the road to sustainable mobility.
Pure fraudulent labeling
It is doubtful whether this can also be said of the partially purely electrically powered super sports cars presented by Daimler, BMW and Audi. With a Mercedes SLS AMG with 532 hp, the Audi e-tron with 313 hp or the plug-in hybrid BMW Vision EfficientDynamics with 356 hp, for example, they pick up where they left off: with more and more power.
Do we have to rethink the car in this direction? Hardly, even if the premium manufacturers like to refer to their top-down strategy of initially using expensive technologies where customers are more willing to pay for them. But is that the paradigm shift? No, not only thinks the German environmental aid. She accuses the industry of only having “placebo models” on offer. The DUH described the whirlwind of electric cars as a pure fraudulent label «. After all, it would take years for the cars to go on sale in mass production.
The crux of the range
After all, the storage capacity of the batteries and thus the range is far from where the manufacturers would like them to be. And neither do the customers. Consumption researchers have determined that less than 250 kilometers are currently only accepted by a minority. For this reason, too, it makes little sense to waste the energy on power guzzlers like the said super sports cars with a power far beyond 200 hp.
As a finger exercise for the manufacturer, that might be nice, but nothing more. The studies from VW with the E-Up or the Peugeot BB1 are more sympathetic. The small vehicle has an output of 20 hp with its electric motor, with the lithium-ion batteries enabling a range of 120 kilometers. It will be a while before electromobility becomes a mass phenomenon. Until then, there are still many questions to be answered. This includes the infrastructure as well as the question of where the regenerative energy will come from.
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