Electric cars are the future – on one condition, say top managers

Top manager: electric cars are the future – on one condition

/>by Philipp Rall 28. January 2022, 8:22 28. January 2022, 8:22

Electric cars bring various possibilities. However, the mobility revolution is also accompanied by problems.

Electric car

Old problems return with new electric cars. Credit: Getty Images/Viaframe

Wolfgang Reitzle has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Continental AG since 2009. Over the past decades, the company has evolved from a simple tire manufacturer into a major automotive supplier. This is why the mobility turnaround is also moving toward alternative drives and Electric cars not past the group. Reitzle therefore still sees a rocky road ahead of him- but could be facilitated by the traffic light coalition.

Electric cars in Germany

In an interview with Manager magazine, the entrepreneur criticizes. He sometimes goes into the wrong subsidies for electric cars, but also highlights the opportunities that can come with new technologies. He also describes his plan for Continental AG to face the current situation.

In many areas, Reitzle notices a location disadvantage. After all, the companies in the automotive industry pay “very high wages and energy costs,” whereas the state benefits from high the state, on the other hand, would benefit from high corporate taxes. „Our infrastructure is still good, but slowly deteriorating”, states the manager. It is important that “blockades in thinking such as data protection or genetic engineering disappear”.

Hope through traffic light coalition?

There are already good approaches to reducing the location disadvantage in Germany. Reitzle is hoping for the traffic light coalition in particular. „There are enough politicians in the SPD and especially in the FDP to approach such a coalition in a fresh and forward-looking way”, he says in an interview. The entrepreneur also expects the Greens to be realistic enough “not to subsidize electric cars with billions of euros in the long term, unless they make a contribution to the climate balance.

„Companies need to sell lots of electric cars because otherwise they won’t meet the politically deliberately stringent CO₂ targets. But these cars have disadvantages in terms of range, there are too few charging stations, they are not suitable for everyday use for many customers. And as long as German electricity is so CO₂-heavy, they won’t help the climate either.“

Wolfgang Reitzle (via Manager Magazin)

Wolfgang Reitzle also attributes the high sales figures for electric cars in 2021 to subsidies from politicians. After all, the government is subsidizing the vehicles with up to 6.000 euros. „Including tax benefits, this adds up to a subsidy of around 20.000 euros in subsidies over the life of the project, he calculates.

„The future of the car is electric

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares also recently drew attention to the current political problems in connection with the mobility turnaround. He does not necessarily see electric cars as the solution for reducing emissions but new risks. Reitzle doesn’t quite go along with that, but rather echoes the expectations of VW CEO Herbert Diess.

„The future of the car is electric, Mr. Diess is right: battery-electric for passenger cars, with fuel cells for heavy trucks and long-distance driving. In this respect, the work on e-mobility must be accelerated. But there will be a long transitional period. Wanting to shorten this extremely will damage Germany as a business location.“

Wolfgang Reitzle (via Manager Magazin)

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