German scientists are becoming more confident that e-mobility will take over in Germany, and that the combustion engine is not worth pursuing further even with the help of e-fuels. Martin Doppelbauer, a professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), stated that the range of electric cars is absolutely practical and poses no everyday restrictions. For example, typical city cars can last up to 250km in winter on one charge whereas family cars with higher capacity can travel up to 350km in winter alone. This fear of range has been dismissed thanks to technological advances made in electric vehicles.
On the other hand, e-fuels remain too expensive due to the high amount of energy required for their production. Despite being championed by Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing, they are not feasible for the efficient operation of millions of vehicles due to their larger carbon footprint. E-fuels production also results in local emissions that cannot be reduced with synthetic fuels.
While private car buyers are still hesitant about purchasing electric cars due to high acquisition costs and charging concerns, experts say that there is now technically an offering for every user to solve range problems. However, there remains a problem with vehicle prices, as there is not yet a comparable middle class with long ranges that are as affordable as conventional cars despite subsidies. Expanding the charging station network is also criticized as there is a need to create new, more powerful connections to cater to future electric vehicles, especially for trucks.
But experts are confident that such concerns will dissipate over time as more e-cars become available for short city trips and the range increases up to 800km. Furthermore, copper, nickel, cobalt, and lithium – the raw materials used in battery manufacturing – are all available in sufficient quantities to meet the demands of global growth in electromobility.