State of Economic Research, Sourcing Risks, and Capital Market Perception
“You and I come by road or by rail, but economists travel by infrastructure.”
As early as 1900, the majority of vehicles in the US were steam or electric powered. Diesel- or gasoline-powered vehicles were still rare. Since then, individual mobility has changed drastically, and combustion engines have become the leading technology of the 20th century. However, the negative environmental impact of conventional drive trains has led to changes in thinking. More stringent regulations on exhaust emission standards, rising fuel taxes, or carbon allowance prices have put political pressure on the automotive industry. Carmakers react by rethinking conventional combustion engine concepts in favor of technological concepts with less fuel consumption, carbon reduction, and more eco-friendliness. In the long run, it is the goal not only of engineers but the public to establish private transport solutions at zero emissions (which would also mean electricity generated by renewable energy sources) and competitive costs. For achieving the goal, the long-known idea of electric vehicles has re-emerged and engineers have tried to take advantage of the very efficient (in terms of energy conversion) electric motor technology. In Germany, it is the goal of the Federal Government to develop the market for electric vehicles into a leading market with 100.000 units sold by 2014 and approximately 1 million units by 2020. The figures include vehicle types from Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) to pure Electric vehicles (EVs)—hybrids are excluded from consideration (Nationale Plattform Elektromobilität, 2012)...
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