In the EV transition, policies and rules must follow the art of balance

As W. Edward Deming once said, “There is no need to change. Survival is not mandatory. For all who think it is desirable, change is a necessity, but at what pace? This is what we asked Winfried Hermann, Minister of Transport of Baden-Württemberg, in our last round of interviews promoted by CLEW (Clean Energy Wire).
This German journalism organization aims to promote energy transition news around the world and has promoted the digital research tour “The Future of the European Automotive Industry: The Challenge of Industrial Transformation”. We were among the 15 journalists selected to cover this. Despite the name of the event, the challenge and its results are global.

We asked Hermann how governments and politicians make sure they don’t push the auto industry too hard to go carbon-free. Electromobility is essential, but the automotive industry is always taking more time to adapt. Hermann’s response was interesting.

“Politics is about balance. Governments will push for change, but they cannot push very hard. If they are too ambitious, they can kill businesses and jobs. We need to establish a framework ambitious enough to promote change while preserving the economy. We have the political responsibility for change and we must create a sustainable transport system. “

This can be very tricky: more than half of automakers in Germany don’t have a strategy to switch to electromobility, which can cause them to disappear when it does. In addition to setting targets, the government must also understand whether these businesses are ready to survive. If they are, it should help them find a way to get there.

Hermann is affiliated with the Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen political party, also known as Alliance 90 / Les Verts. When asked if he just doesn’t want to see cars, he found a witty way to express his ideas.

“We want less traffic and more mobility. Cars are necessary, but they must be used rationally. They’re great for visiting family in remote towns or on vacation trips, but you shouldn’t need them to go to your neighborhood bakery.

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