Electric cars are coming, no matter what some media and critics say
As it becomes clearer that electric transport is the future, the haters, luddites and boo birds are on their way at full speed. I see a lot of anti-EV stuff online every day. Some of these are articles in reputable media (e.g. politics), which sound-sounding arguments are used to explain why their readers should wait a few more years to buy an electric vehicle, or why it will take decades for e-mobility to “catch on” (these are often full of falsehoods and / or topics of conversation from the oil industry). On the social media side, we see a steady stream of barely coherent swear words, complete with spelling and grammar errors, repeating the same horror stories week after week.
|The fully electric Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model 3 (photo by Roberto H.)|
Jim Motavalli, writes in Tree hugger, tells us how after he wrote a piece in Car week About the plans of the major automakers to eventually phase out internal combustion engines, the comment area quickly became filled with no-say-no. Many commentators pointed to the “inconvenience” of electric driving, and quite a few portrayed electrification as something that governments and “big corporations” are trying to impose on an unwilling public. One, more revealing than most, pointed out the great contrast between the overwhelming anti-EV tone of the comments too Car week (which covers both ICE and electric vehicles) and more pro-EV sites where readers rave about the joys of electric driving and rant about the shy government support for electric vehicles and the half-hearted efforts of old automakers.
EVs will eventually supplant ICE vehicles, not because they save money or because they (very real, whatever the Car week the crowd can tell) environmental benefits. They will convince the drivers because they are better vehicles – more practical, more comfortable, more powerful and more fun to drive. At least that’s what I and other chroniclers of e-mobility have been saying for years, and now technology is starting to catch up with our optimism. The selection of available electric vehicles is growing, the ranges are more than sufficient and the public charging infrastructure is growing.
Depending on who you speak to, the big automakers are either “all-in” with electrification or are fighting a rearguard to delay it for as long as possible.
Audi managers told Tree hugger in a current online panel: “By 2026 we will only be bringing all-electric vehicles onto the market. We firmly believe the industry is going in that direction and customer demand will follow. ”Well, that’s a welcome change if it’s sincere. In 2020, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann told the German news magazine focus (English summary in CleanTechnica) that internal combustion engines “will live a very long time” and that “we will continue to invest heavily in the development of internal combustion engines”. Ralf Brandstätter, who was the new head of the VW brand at the time, made a similar statement. VW will offer ICE models for a long time to come.
Toyota has gone from being an electrification innovator to being one the most influential anti-EV voice in the industry. the New York Times reports that a Toyota executive recently traveled to Washington to argue against the Biden administration’s proposed measures to promote electric vehicles. Toyota’s lobbying in Washington is part of a global strategy to oppose stricter emissions standards and EV mandates – the company has also spoken out against pro-EV policies in India, Mexico and Japan.
The Renault group, which is currently one of the largest electric car manufacturers in the European market (in a dispute with a certain Californian company), is now trying to persuade EU politicians Extension of the proposed ICE ban from 2035 to 2040. In a statement full of bizarre, confused logic, Gilles Leborgne, Renault Group’s Executive VP for Engineering, recently said Auto-Express that even though the company has the technology to drive 100% electric, the Dacia brand will only sell 10% electric vehicles by 2030 “because people need to move and have affordable cars”.
It’s a little hard to see the conspiracy to put EVs down our throats that the Car week Readers are afraid. It is certainly true that the big automakers are working hard to convince the left-wing press of their commitment to electric vehicles, but their customers and their servants in government? Not as much. Fortunately, advancing technology and competitive pressures of a certain California company called Tesla are forcing their hands. As long as Teslas Innovation factory buzzes, automakers will have no choice but to push the transition to electric vehicles. If automakers’ lobbying efforts can’t turn back the tide, the barrage of snappy online comments certainly won’t.
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