Globe and Mail: The one big problem with the electric-car movement

The Globe and Mail has the most interesting story in the week of Frankfurt’s auto show. As we know, electric and hybrid cars are all the rage at this year’s edition. Governments push for less CO2, the diesel gets ban after ban across the globe and electric cars are released like crazy. Yet, the Globe nails the main problem of the electric car in the paragraph below:

At this week’s show, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover promised their fleets would offer electric options for every model, with a deadline of 2020 at the earliest and 2025 at the latest. BMW showed its all-electric Mini, which will be sold in 2019, and a sporty version of its i3; Mercedes showed its all-electric EQA and EQC concepts, and Audi showed its all-electric Elaine coupe concept.

There’s just one problem: while governments want us to drive electric cars, we don’t want to buy them. They’re too expensive if there are no rebates to bring them in line with regular cars and their range and acceptance is only just getting there. “This is a timing issue, and I think that people underestimated how long it takes to get a new technology into the market,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, a member of BMW’s board of management. “Not only on the cost side, but also that for consumers starting to embrace electromobility, it’s probably slower than some people expected when we started this journey.

European manufacturers are required to meet an average emissions goal of 95 grams of C02 a kilometre by 2021. Reuters reported that the car makers have offered a further 20-per-cent reduction by 2030 on the condition that more consumers accept electrified cars and rechargeable hybrids. “This conditionality principle links Europe’s long-term climate objectives to the reality of the market,” Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche said.

All the electrified cars introduced at the show have increased ranges and the new normal is around 200 kilometres for a charged battery. With Tesla and the Chevrolet Bolt now covering 400 kilometres between charges, the target is for a full battery to last at least as long as a tank of gas.

Also, Globe and Mail published a letter I wrote, called Calculus on Pizza. The debate was about the latest move by Ford and Jerry’s pizza, a joint project about delivering pizza with autonomous cars.

Drive safe.

Lucian Vinatoriu.