German Battery, German Electric Car?

An Agence France Presse report has produced a small flurry of articles this past week, here and here, for example, that has a German company developing Lithium batteries that would be suitable for electric cars. Li-tec is said to be working in cooperation with Bosch and Volkswagen, which has heightened interest.

One can only hope, despite scant evidence, that the fierce grip of internal combustion on the German automakers might loosen. German Greens have bought into hydrogen hype as much as California regulators. BMW is pushing hydrogen gas into the most complicated engine ever and dousing the American airwaves and celebrities with this unavailable $500,000 diversion.

The country has admirably pushed renewable electricity generation, offering subsidies and incentives greater than most any other nation. Their insatiable appetite for solar panels has kept the world price high and supply low. But somehow, the increasingly low-carbon grid has not enticed either automakers to manufacture or policy makers to create incentives for grid connected cars. Do the Germans actually intend to make a green grid, only to throw away 75% of the energy to the losses involved in hydrogen production?

Of late, the French, Irish and Finns are creating feebate structures that could push electric cars. The Norwegians have a host of EV positive initiatives. But the Germans, for all their green reputation, remain laggards. The German government has opposed the strictest CO2 emission proposals in the EU, in order to protect their domestic, comparatively more polluting, auto industry.

Perhaps a German battery will propel interest. An electric VW, say a Plug-in UP!, might bring boomers back to the car that brought them to their first Earth Day rally.

— Marc G.