The mirror is not contradicting itself for the first time: has the car really brought “mischief” to humanity?

What should Spiegel readers think of this? Once the mirror ennobles the BMW i3 as its "Car of the Year" (probably because the consistent step towards electromobility has impressed), then the car editor Christian Wüst writes against the current and comes out as an angry opponent not only of the electric car, but of the car in general . Here is the full comment to be melted in your mouth:

The electric car is in danger again. Now, of all times, when the IAA is starting in Frankfurt and the message from the VDA industry association sounds so beautiful: The electric vehicle is “no longer a vision”, it is “now on the road,” says VDA President Matthias Wissmann. Now should it stay on this road? Siemens announced last week that it no longer wanted to build charging stations. It is not worth. The whining at the IAA will be loud and drown out the realization that Siemens could do nothing better than to stop this nonsense.

Electric cars of the current state of development are not suitable for the mass market. Building an infrastructure for them now would be about as smart as building a launch pad for the first manned flight to Mars. The electric drive proves to be halfway usable precisely where cars are undesirable in terms of traffic policy - in the city. E-mobiles do not solve any problem there, they too clog urban living space and, on top of that, need lots of draw-off points. BMW introduced the term “megacity vehicle” in its power foray. But if megacities need more vehicles, it is in the form of public transport.

Millions of city dwellers have long been electromobile: by train. Demanding subsidies for the electric car now would be illogical - in the light of history. The automobile that ran on gasoline received no funding, nor any infrastructure. Its inventors refueled in pharmacies. A filling station network did not develop until the car was attractive enough to earn one. Had Kaiser Wilhelm II or Queen Victoria launched national aid programs for this invention, the young automobile might have degenerated in the bud - and mankind would have been spared some disaster.

The author undoubtedly has the right to have his opinion. But opinion must be somehow and somewhere based on facts. Anyone who, like him, comes to the conclusion that it would have been better historically if the automobile hadn't come into play at all is out of this world, to put it politely. It is more than a bold hypothesis that mankind should "have been spared some calamity". On the contrary, the automobile has become the basis of our quality of life. Not only because we can move individually with it, but also because its further development and production creates prosperity for many people and brings about innovations that enrich our lives beyond mobility. Yes, the car also creates problems. Solving them is at least as challenging as developing individual mobility as a whole. The biggest problem with the automobile is its success.

Apart from the philosophical view of the commentator, the development of electric vehicles is not an industrial fig leaf, but simply necessary to meet legal requirements for fleet consumption. Who would have thought that electric cars could also clog roads? But if all of this is so terrible, and the automobile is only causing “calamity”, the question arises: why do billions of people, rich or poor, get so excited about it? The car must also have some desirable advantages. Anyone who observes the masses of visitors at the IAA can only state that the automobile lives, has a great past, present and an even better future.

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