No sooner have I criticized auto motor und sport than I have to praise the editors - the traditional ams congress on mobility is an event with substance

auto-motor-und-sport-1Excellently organized, exciting topics, renowned and competent speakers and a lot of valuable insights: That is the sum of a long day without any boredom.

There are events that you only attend once because they are a waste of time. But there are also those that can be absorbed into yourself because they not only repeat what is known, but also bring insiders closer to topics that have not yet been internalized so deeply. The publishing house Motorpresse succeeded this year as well.

The spectrum of topics ranged from the discussion about stricter EU limits to the success of car-sharing projects, from city-appropriate cars and an exciting Audi project to the political dimension and the opinion of the green Minister of Transport of Baden-Württemberg. After all, we were grounded by a university project at the Technical University of Munich and a university in Africa that were so demanding that drivers define mobility needs in a completely different way, much more simply than we do for customers who are spoiled by many assistance systems. In Africa, we could hear, it is about very primitive transportation and transportation in rural areas. Vehicles have to be robust, easy to repair and cheap. It is not about electronic helpers, but often about the simplest transport solutions, especially in agriculture.

This round of discussions at the ams Congress 2014: ams publisher Bernd Ostmann (left) in discussion with Minister of Transport Herrmann (right next to him). Photo: ams

This round of discussions at the ams Congress 2014: ams publisher Bernd Ostmann (left) in discussion with Minister of Transport Herrmann (right next to him). Photo: ams

Discussion rounds, so-called panels, took up many topics and conflicting opinions in an exciting way and highlighted a few things that are not so clearly recognizable in the public eye.

The question of whether 95 CO2 g / km fleet average to be achieved by 2020 or 2021 was clearly affirmed by the experts from the automotive and supplier industry present, but was also viewed critically. Achieving this goal costs between 1000 and 3000 euros per vehicle, automotive supplier development chief Peter Gutzmer from Schaeffler estimates. Technically, he can imagine a three-cylinder in the luxury class, but it is questionable whether the market would accept this. In passing, it was also heard that the automakers had to build different vehicles for Europe and the less demanding markets like the USA.

Fritz Steinparzer, head of diesel engine development at BMW in Steyr, dampened optimism and poured realistic water into the wine of the optimists present, at the forefront of Baden-Württemberg's green transport minister Winfried Herrmann, who demanded that Europe must set an example for the global climate to rescue. He didn't say it like that, but he meant what is inevitable for a green. But he argued plausibly and non-politically, his opponents must also concede that.

That he smog in Beijing and CO2 skilfully mixed together, be sure to watch him. After all, the soot filter has only been introduced according to political guidelines. And Herrmann's reference to the industrial resistance to the introduction of the catalyst in the eighties can also be accepted.

The BMW engineer Steinparzer is convinced that the 95 grams can only be achieved with a large fleet of electric cars. This could become a sticking point, because electrification is expensive. “And customers are not yet ready to spend a lot of money on it.” He summed up what has been done so far and will have to be done by 2020: “From 2000 to 2020, we will achieve a halving of emissions,” says Steinparzer convinced. “We have reduced other emissions, such as nitrogen emissions, by a factor of 10.” Even the Green Minister was able to nod in appreciation.

However, the group did not agree on how to proceed. While the minister still considers much stricter limit values ​​after 2021 to be correct ("Strict limit values ​​drive innovations"), there was a contradiction, especially from the representatives of the manufacturers, that one could overtighten the screw. I was amazed by the statement made by ex-Toyota Germany boss Ulrich Selzer. "I'm all about politics: Let's raise the bar," said Selzer. "We orient ourselves to the markets where the requirements are highest, and that is Europe." Toyota aligns its cars with this. The USA, on the other hand, is not a role model, because energy there is still far too cheap.

That sounded good. As a hybrid pioneer and green manufacturer, Toyota is always well received. However, the Toyota protagonists like to conceal the fact that this brand in particular earns a lot of money in the USA by selling the absolute fuel drinker there: the oversized Tundra (advertising: “That's really big!”) With 5,7 liters V8 and a standard average consumption of 18 liters of super. So Toyota also lives from fulfilling customer requirements in the market. And gladly fulfills them.

And among many other findings, the participants of the ams congress were also able to take this message home with them: while everyone thinks that Norway owes its electric car boom to the environmental awareness of its citizens, the truth is somewhat banal, as the chief editor of the ams- Sister sheet from Norway reported: The Norwegians buy electric cars mainly for cost reasons. Because these vehicles are completely exempt from tax and the batteries can be recharged free of charge in Oslo. There are also many other advantages, of which the federal government should cut a few slices. Just like the Chancellor, it is not enough to only wish that in 2020 one million electric vehicles should roll on German roads. The Norwegians are further there, not more environmentally conscious.

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