Guido Reinking, editor of Automobilwoche, is well known for his occasional outbursts against electric vehicle technology. Previously, Reinking wrote that EV technology will not become mainstream for at least 15 more years. Now he's back with yet another statement that may or may not sit well with EV supporters.
According to Reinking, the focus on EV technology is hurting the automotive industry as a whole. With efforts from automakers to get EVs to market soon, they may be neglecting other areas of the industry.
Paraphrasing Reinking would not do his words justice, so below is an excerpt from his commentary written for Automotive News.
Since they can't neglect research into the electric cars for image reasons, automakers find it necessary to do expensive parallel development work. The industry must invest in electric drivetrains without neglecting traditional engines.
One look at automakers' most recent balance sheets shows that barely a handful of companies can afford this.
Volkswagen is in the group that can afford the costs, as are Toyota and Hyundai.
GM is focusing strongly on the electric drivetrain but is putting the cart before the horse.
Here you can see a disastrous trend developing, and not just from the standpoint of corporate policy.
Even from an environmental angle, we are playing with fire if we bet solely on the electric car. It will remain insignificant in reducing carbon dioxide emissions for the foreseeable future because of low production volumes.
This is over and above the fact that most electricity comes from fossil fuels and that electric cars are not CO2-free.
The electric car and the full hybrid will not make a major contribution to meeting the target, nor will government subsidies in the billions for electric cars.
Reinking's strong words will certainly outrage those who believe EVs are the future of automobiles. At some point, automakers must willingly devote funds to EVs and reduce funding of the ICE. This is progress and is the only way that development of EVs will move forward.
In order for the automotive industry to move away from the ICE and into the future, some sacrifices are necessary, but the end result will be worth it.
Source: Automotive News (login required)