But it’s not just the automotive industry that is in a quandary.
The state is too.Governments in lots of countries have set climate targets that directly or
indirectly include the transport sector. Electric cars are seen as a key part of the
journey towards a largely carbon-neutral transport sector. The implicit
assumption is that the requisite electricity will increasingly be generated using
renewable energies, which in itself is an ambitious target. Ultimately, the
subsidies for electric vehicles in many countries are motivated by climate policy.
The fact that electric cars produce low levels of local pollution is, of course, also
an important argument. The dilemma is as follows: if subsidies for electric cars
are generous enough to rapidly increase market share, it will quickly become
very expensive for the state.
However, if the programme of state incentives are
not attractive enough for the average car buyer, as is evidently the case right
now in Germany, it is likely that the ambitious climate protection targets will not