Mario Illien – professor of racing engine construction
Swiss-born Mario Illien, who lives in England, has built engines for many well-known Formula 1 teams. He also contributed to the ongoing soaring of the Mercedes Formula 1 team. In an interview with a Swiss daily newspaper, he described the diesel engine as still the most sensible means of transportation. In his opinion mainly three reasons speak against an e-car: First: 75% of our electricity worldwide comes from fossil fuel production. Second: The production of rare earth materials for batteries has a massive impact on the environment. And thirdly, a large battery is dangerous because of the risk of fire and the difficulty in extinguishing it. Amazingly, Mario Illien didn’t bother about the real facts.
Science moves us forward
75% of the electricity comes from fossil fuels. That’s right as a snapshot. The efforts to replace these worldwide with renewable, CO2-neutral or emission-free suppliers have never been as great as they are today. The «no-go» nuclear power is also being discussed again in an undogmatic manner. The discourse on sustainable energy sources will produce impact in the near future.
Rare earth materials are no longer needed
The Swiss company Innolith has been researching the energy storage sector for years and said goodbye to the use of organic substances. Instead it relies on in-house developed inorganic electrolytes. With 50000 charging cycles, the service life of such a battery is ten times that of a conventional battery. In e-cars it should provide ranges of 1000 kilometers and more. And it neither can burn nor contains cobalt. This leads us to the last of Illien’s arguments:
Not a burning problem
Jan Bauke, head of training at the civil rescue organization Schutz und Rettung Zürich, said in an interview: «Overall, it is unlikely that a battery will start to burn. It is installed in the safest place in the vehicle. And the fire brigade knows how to deal with electric vehicle fires.» In short: There is no statistical evidence that electric cars are more dangerous than combustion engines. Fighting a fire is no more difficult than with a gasoline or diesel engine.
All in all
Without anticipating the improvements in the future, the following already applies today: From the perspective of climate protection, e-cars do clearly better than diesel cars.
Inspired by www.tagesanzeiger.ch/dieselautos-sind-sauberer-als-elektroautos, www.tagesanzeiger.ch/sind-verbrenner-tatsaechlich-sauberer-als-elektroautos and Bill Gates: How to avoid a climate disaster