Guest commentary by Peter Schwerdtmann: Learn from the Chinese…

China is years ahead of us in electromobility. This has been a mantra of environmental activists and the media for years. They saw German industry at risk because it allegedly refused to accept the technology change that had begun long ago. The Greens and even the anti-car association Deutsche Umwelthilfe with its less than 300 members were able to stand up and shed crocodile tears in torrents. With their extreme demands, they only wanted to enable the German automotive industry to survive, they claimed.

Author Peter Schwerdtmann

Now it is gradually becoming clear what the Chinese lead actually means for us. Using the example from China, we will learn what costly mistakes the sole focus of future mobility on the battery-electric vehicle represents. In the Middle Kingdom, there is a noticeable realization that there must be more than one solution. The party cut grants for the purchase of battery electric vehicles. And their sales halved last month - good that our industry has not let itself go.

So we now have just the chance to limit investments in the battery-electric vehicle to a reasonable level. Retaining enough investment capital to industry for the further development of gasoline and diesel engines and for the development of carbon dioxide-neutral fuels (e-fuels) for the vast majority of the existing vehicle fleet. We can no longer disparage hydrogen as exotic. It is the key to e-fuels, serves the fuel cell as fuel, can power planes and ships, heat houses and generate electricity. Well, the Chinese are probably way ahead of us when it comes to battery cells for vehicle batteries. That is why the EU initiative that has just been promised. But the hydrogen is ours. We produce it here from our very own raw materials air, exhaust gas, natural gas and biogas with electricity from light and wind. Nothing is less important than the question of efficiency.

The raw materials cost us nothing, and we do not trade oil dependency for a new one. We need independence. Who in this drifting world wants to risk trusting contracts with companies that have to listen to their governments? This applies both to China, but unfortunately also to the United States that we allied with. So we watch the Chinese and learn. We still have the chance to set a new course. Let us feel encouraged by the fact that the words "hydrogen" and "e-fuels" have recently appeared in the vocabulary of our politicians. (ampnet / Sm)

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