VW is pushing the electric car. And even more vehemently than a year ago. And the VW boss is asking the other automobile companies to drop the principle of openness to technology that was previously considered sacrosanct. No wonder that leading car managers are storming the taboo break.
“The fact that VW of all people wants to set the technological pace in the future is a perfidious kind of arrogance that the industry cannot actually accept. VW - the mother of almost all of our credibility problems as the pacesetter for drive technology. That is downright bold. ”So a senior manager of a Bavarian automobile manufacturer who does not want to be named. "I'm not a coward, but as a senior engineer I have to hold back publicly, although I've been very angry with VW since the exhaust gas fraud became known." The fraud has damaged the entire industry, so it should not be that everyone "behind VW should march ”.
After all, there are efficient alternatives to the battery-powered car, such as synthetic fuels, gas and the fuel cell with hydrogen, which is massively promoted in Japan and which long-term scientists call hydrogen the fuel of the future.
BMW had almost finished the hydrogen drive
In Germany, BMW almost developed the hydrogen drive in a combustion engine to series production. I myself drove through Munich with a hydrogen-powered 12-cylinder 7-series and refueled at the (unfortunately now dismantled) hydrogen filling station at the airport. The BMW appearance at the world exhibition in Hanover in 2000 focused on hydrogen technology as "clean energy".
At the time, however, BMW relied on the combustion of hydrogen in conventional piston engines, arguing that two alternatives are also possible with hydrogen technology: use in the internal combustion engine and use in the fuel cell, which ultimately generates the electricity for the electric drive. It was and still is primarily about creating a filling station infrastructure for hydrogen. But even in hydrogen mobility there is freedom of technology: combustion engine and electric motor.
ZF boss warns against focusing on the electric car
Not only car managers are protesting VW's going it alone. This is also contradicting car supplier ZF. "You shouldn't equate the strategy of a single company with the entire industry," ZF boss Wolf-Henning Scheider told Tagesspiegel. He respects the strategy that Volkswagen is adopting. “In the end, however, the customer has to buy the products. And there won't just be one solution, ”says Scheider.
The fact that Volkswagen is promoting e-strategy as the only one to make it beat is by no means a broad consensus within the industry. The castle peace closed at the VDA a few days ago is therefore as fragile as frozen water in spring. It is doubtful whether VW boss Diess was well advised to describe the principle of technology openness as the “wrong slogan”. The fact that he is relying on generous government funding seems to have happened in close cooperation with Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier, who dreams of a huge battery factory like the Chancellor of an aircraft carrier.
In the end, the customer will decide what he wants to drive with
Ultimately, the electric car with battery is a big risk. Let us leave out the familiar challenges such as range and charging time: at some point the opponents of the car will also campaign against the battery-powered car. Arguments such as “plundering valuable mineral resources” by “child slaves” can already be heard today. Volatile electricity generation and uncertainty in the network. When thousands of Berliners recently stopped receiving electricity from their sockets, their electric cars would also have stopped. Peter Altmaier is Minister of Economy, but not an engineer. And so his demand for battery production and the preferential promotion of the battery car is probably less due to his technical competence, but rather to the loyalty to his chancellor, who can no longer save her promise of an electric car, but at least see some of it confirmed would like to.
Simply relying on the battery car is highly risky. If it cannot be implemented on a large scale, it would be a disaster for VW. Therefore, the auto industry should continue to tackle the future with a broad technological base. It is still a long way from being decided whether car buyers will access battery batteries to a large extent.