EV Not Green Option, Says Prof in Swipe at Zealots

A German economist is calling for the automotive industry to consider future powertrain options on merit instead of “ideologies” in a direct swipe at EV zealots.

Professor Ulrich van Suntum, director of the Institute of Spatial and Housing Economics at the University of Münster, is responding to the growing noise from interested parties pushing e-mobility solutions despite serious issues existing around its climate warming potential. In a preliminary interview ahead of his presentation at the International Engine Congress 2019 in February, van Suntum says the industry must free itself from preconceptions over powertrains.

He called for a debate on emobility “discussing the best technology without ideologies”. In an interview with the VDI Wissensforum, van Suntum explained: “The costs and risks of electromobility are deliberately masked out by car opponents in order to put an end to the internal combustion engine. The electric car is by no means emission-free, as long as half of our electricity comes from gas and coal power plants. If you wanted to switch to electromobility with green electricity, we would either have to return to nuclear power or driving would simply be unaffordable.”

In his opinion, neither politics nor the economy decide on the future type of drive, whether it is fuel cells or even hybrid solutions made of several types of drives. His comments have been echoed by emission expert and managing director of WM Engineering & Consulting (Bergisch-Gladbach), Wolfgang Maus.

Maus added: “In our industry, we should not engage in pros and cons of e-mobility or combustion engines without reliable data.” says Maus. The International Engine Congress 2019, organized by the VDI Wissensforum and ATZlive,  will be held in Baden-Baden on February 26 and 27, 2019.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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