German transport minister calls on car industry to transition faster

German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has called for his country’s car industry to step on it in their transition to motors that do less harm to the environment.

“Nobody denies that the German car industry is technologically good and innovative,” Scheuer said in an interview with dpa. “We have to bring these German innovations onto the road more quickly, make them tangible and suitable for everyday use.”

At stake is not only the mobility of the future, but also the jobs of tomorrow, according to the minister.

“We have to intrigue and thrill people. We have to dispel prejudices against alternative engines,” he said. “Our strength is perfection. But perfection cannot lead to a delay in development.”

The minister described 2020 as “a year of hope,” noting that “many new electric car models are hitting the road.”

But vehicles with alternative engines have not yet managed to break into the country’s mass market. The success of electric cars is key to helping Germany meet its climate goals for 2030 and comply with the European Union’s environmental standards.

The German carmaker Daimler on Monday evening unveiled a concept vehicle at the CES technology fair in Las Vegas that is meant to put a focus on the issue of sustainability.

Designed together with the makers of the science fiction movie “Avatar,” the Vision AVTR is built out of sustainable materials. But the organic battery technology envisioned by its designers will take around 15 years to be available for use.

“We understand the boundaries of our planet. But we don’t want to add new boundaries to mobility,” said Daimler chief executive Ola Kaellenius.

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