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Internal Combustion Engine or Electric Car?

The goals of Martin Winterkorn,the new CEO of Volkswagen AG, is to land Volkswagen at the top of the global auto industry by 2018, surpassing both General Motors and Toyota. But his aggressive plan is embarrassing to the employees since climate warming and traffic jams(especially since the rise of electric cars) are obvious existing obstacles to overcome now. However, Winterkorn has figured out how to rule the industry with an internal combustion engine.

car pollution-591-3

Maybe Mr. Winterkorn doesn’t know that the average car travels 15,000km per year, emitting around 4 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere? Poor, innocent Martin; are you not aware of the studies showing that motor vehicles contribute 51% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 44% of hydrocarbon emissions? If you keep in mind the impact your car may have on the environment, why is your goal “Annual sales of 10 million Volkswagen vehicles by 2018?”

Oh, I forgot, the Volkswagen Group has outlined plans to offer as many as 40 electric or hybrid vehicles in a bet that customers will have enough confidence to shift to low-emission models.

But believe this when you see it. VW has made a fine art out of making these announcements and never producing. The press routinely prints big headlines of VW’s “greenness” which are soon forgotten while VW tries to push diesel as “green.”

Maybe for at least the next few decades, gasoline and diesel engines will dominate the landscape of new cars and light trucks. As Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said last year, “There will be, for a long time to come, no alternative to the internal combustion engine.” So, few, if any, of today’s drivers will see electric cars outnumber gasoline and diesel models in their lifetimes.

ECF_30kmh_against_pollutionThere will be 1,600,000,000 commercial and passenger vehicles in 2030, which means 4×1.6billion=6,400,000,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, from just our cars.

While politicians and green lobby groups insist the future of transport is electric, in the past two months the biggest oil companies, which are natural alliances of the mobile giants, have released data which signals that electric cars will make up only 4-5 percent of all cars globally in 20-30 years.

These forecasts are backed by cash. They guide tens of billions of dollars in long-term investments in oil production and refining, and it is the oil industry that stands to lose if they get the forecast wrong.

The expected continued dominance of petroleum partly explains the scaling back of BP and Shell’s solar, hydrogen and wind power ambitions in recent years, and Exxon’s continued reluctance to get involved in renewable energy.

Echoing comments from the oil companies, Gerd Kleinert, CEO of KSPG, the automotive parts business belonging to German group Rheinmetall, says the popularity of electric cars will be curtailed until batteries can store energy and use as little weight as gasoline does, and can also be recharged as quickly as refilling a fuel tank.

electric car“When that world exists, then we will all be driving electric cars starting tomorrow. But I personally don’t see that happening, not even a hundred years from now.”

Oil kills renewable energy.

Some surveys predict mass adaptation of EV’s when the price of gasoline hits $5 per gallon – in relation to the current generation of battery technology ($500-600 per kwh). Fuel prices are predicted to hit $5 in a couple of years when the global economy begins to recover.

Knowing that there is about $100 trillion worth of oil still left to excavate, oil companies won’t wait for EVs to put them out of business. So the question – again – is what will the oil companies do?

What do you think?

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