German Government Wants Fast EVs Fast

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
german government wants strike fast strike evs fast

As documented here, German carmakers mostly talk about EVs, but build very few. Volkswagen’s Christian Klingler even said that customers don’t want EVs, only governments do. He’s sure right about the government part. The German government prods its carmakers to get on with the building of EVs. Germany’s Economy Minister Brüderle (the very same that said no to Opel help) demanded “more tempo” in the EV department. The German government wants to see a million EVs by 2020. The government is worried that the Germans are missing the (electric) train. Just like the automakers, the government is a lot of talk, and little action.

“We have invented the car around here,” said Brüderle. He doesn’t want that leadership go to countries like China, Japan, Korea, the U.S., or, oh mein Gott, even France. What’s the answer of the German industry? Show us the money, then we talk. They think a decent research program costs $5b, and they want the government to pay most of that. The government is thinking about its share. Most of all, the automakers want inducements to go to buyers of EVs. Just like in the aforementioned countries. “No way” is Brüderle’s answer. He wants to “leave the electromobility to the market forces.” The industry thinks EVs are a tough sell with inducements. Without, they are unsalable.

According to the German rule “wenn man nicht mehr weiter weiss, gründet man nen Arbeitskreis” (if you see no way out, start a committee), the Germans started the Nationale Plattform Elektromobilität (NPE), which did what Germans do best: The developed a norm for EVs. Well, at least the roadmap for a norm, as Automobilwoche [sub] reports. For ar real standard, they need a real budget. This is going nowhere fast.

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  • AaronH AaronH on Dec 01, 2010

    What the F does an "Economy Minister" actually do? Does anyone really question what these parasites qualifications are? These filthy maggots have no idea what it takes to produce anything. Know wonder you go out of Germany, Bertel...Didn't want to be a slave of the State/Greeks? Or just tired of the Democracy Parasite (aka, Voters and their political gangsters) stealing 75% of your income?

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Dec 01, 2010

    If they're not putting money in--the gov--seems to me they don't want it. I don't blame them. The battery is still a crapshoot.

  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.