German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged car manufacturers to keep an open mind about carbon neutral car technology beyond electric cars.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel today warned against focusing exclusively on electric cars in the race to decarbonize transport, urging carmakers at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Munich to stay open to alternative technologies.
“I am pleased that it is now unmistakable that the trend is clearly toward electric mobility,” Merkel said at the car show’s official kick-off. She noted that manufacturers had come a long way since the IAA four years ago, when most were only able to present concept vehicles.
But the chancellor also warned against focusing exclusively on battery-powered cars, saying automakers should explore alternatives such as hydrogen and ensure the industry is a “central part of the solution” to climate change.
Merkel’s appearance marks the eighth time she has opened the car show, which this year focuses on climate protection and sustainable mobility and includes dozens of manufacturers of bikes, autonomously shuttle buses and e-scooters.
The industry is committed to the goal of climate neutrality “without any ifs or buts,” said Hildegard Müller, president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).
Critics of the show have slammed its efforts to shift toward climate-neutral mobility as little more than “greenwashing.”
Its climate focus “cannot hide the fact that the business model of the German automotive industry is based on climate destruction through the sale of far too many cars and far too many combustion engines,” said Greenpeace campaigner Marion Tiemann.
Police are expecting up to 60,000 demonstrators on Saturday in protests against the show.