German students contrast American car culture
May 1, 2018 By:MHS Piper
By Randal Nordberg
Lukas Göttker is a
German exchange student whose family has played a role in German car culture.
Göttker’s father was an engineer for Volkswagen and Porsche, and his job was to find ways to make cars lighter and more fuel efficient. This brings up a great topic of how Germany has more electric or hybrid cars.
In fact, the German government will give citizens 3,000 euros to help pay for a hybrid car, and around 6,000 for people trying to buy electric cars as a way to help deal with the air pollution. Göttker said that there are many car companies being manufactured in the area where he lives, but since the air pollution is so bad the government is thinking of banning cars from the city and relying more on public transportation as a way to get around.
Stuttgart, where Göttker lives, is in a valley. They don’t often get wind to blow the pollution out of the valley. This causes the pollution to linger in the cities. This makes people want to drive more fuel efficient cars that cause less pollution.
One way Germans get around is Car To Go, a company that has a similar concept to the bikes around Portland. Customers pay to use the cars through a scanner near the window, so that when a card is up to it, the car will unlock and allow them to drive. There is money on these cards and the people are charged around 25 cents per mile, and can drop the car off almost anywhere. It will cost more to drop it off at a location that is not a Car To Go center because they then have to get the car transported back to a Car To Go station.
This helps to show the difference in our car cultures. Göttker himself said he is wanting a hybrid for his first car. Where as many Americans would much rather have something with a little more power or a little more versatility.