01.11.2012 Jakob Schoof

Electro-mobility: a dead end?

Author: Jakob Schoof
More than a dozen ‘surplus energy’ homes are currently available by the German prefab housing market, a trend that is increasing. Faster than many expected, a concept is thus being established on the mainstream market which, until recently, was still the domain of research institutions, universities and a few pioneering architects and engineers. The pace has been set by the German Federal Ministry of Building, Transportation and Urban Development, which at the end of 2011 completed its own ‘Efficient Home Plus Electro-mobility’ designed by Werner Sobek and his team.

The concept that sustainable building and sustainable transportation need to be developed together, ought to be applauded. However, whether surplus-energy, single-family homes with personal electric cars is the right approach to this problem is, at the least, debatable. Decisions pertaining to transportation should not only be made in view of CO2 mitigation. In the future, cities need to continue to offer a high quality of life and mobility should remain affordable. Furthermore, no one should be excluded from access to important services and supply facilities. Last but not least, land use consumption needs to be reduced.
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