Partly because they don't understand how vehicles work.
While Germany is hosting the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show, environmentalists and climate control groups are trying to make themselves heard. Two of the more high profile groups, Greenpeace and Deutsche Umwelthilfe have called for governments to ban SUVs to curb emissions and pollutants. Reuters is reporting that the groups are calling for a ban on the SUV body style and vehicles with internal combustion engines. "As long as SUVs rather than small electric vehicles dominate automotive transport, cars will remain the problem child for us climate activists," is the major quote from the EXIT consortium.
This echoes a common theme of "ban the things" groups that target all kinds of industries. It's a fundamental lack of understanding of the actual object. Body style doesn't define a vehicles drivetrain and, as we know companies like Ford, Rivian, and Tesla are working on bringing electric trucks and SUVs to market and, during the Frankfurt show, Volkswagen previewed its electric crossover and Cupra showed its Tavascan. All feature body styles the groups want to be banned but are zero-emissions vehicles.
"SUVs is what the customer wants," Volkswagen's Chief Executive Herbert Diess, points out, "Owning a car is for many people part of having a higher quality of life. We need to ensure that even middle and lower-income families can afford an electric car."
The environmental groups don't seem to understand that an entire industry can't change direction on a dime either, and developing technology takes time because, well, science. However, the German auto industry hasn't been helping itself when it comes to the automotive industry as BMW and Mercedes consistently keep making bigger vehicles with bigger combustion engines.
On the flip side, the actual uptake on electric vehicles is very low globally. At the same time, and as Volkswagen points out, electric vehicles need to be affordable for most people to buy them. Many automakers are now working towards the goal of affordable electric vehicles, and that's demonstrable in the number of electric vehicles being shown at the Frankfurt auto show.
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