Electric vehicles divide opinion as car-loving Germany goes to polls

Excerpt from theguardian.com

The second Steve Dumke spots a gap in the traffic on the road from Eggersdorf to Strausberg, his white Hyundai Ioniq lurches forward and nestles between two fast-moving Volkswagens in the right-hand lane. “A tap on the accelerator and the gap is mine,” he howls with glee.

Dumke, a 37-year-old former chef, is less a speed freak than, in his own words, “a vehicle eroticist”. “I love cars with curves and the growl of an eight-cylinder piston engine,” he says. But for the last four years the vehicular object of his desires has run on megawatts rather than litres.

After swapping an old petrol-chugging Opel Signum for his first electric vehicle in 2017, he found himself having to defend his purchase to sceptical friends and family members, who joked that he would spend more time at charging ports than ferrying around his young family.

To prove them wrong, Dumke recorded his daily commute and uploaded it to a YouTube channel that grew into a full-time occupation when restaurants closed during the pandemic. This February he co-founded Berlin-Brandenburg Electric, an association for EV enthusiasts that organises car shows, rallies and culinary Saus und Schmaus (“drive and dine”) trips out of the German capital.

“The electric car won’t save the world, but it can offset one of the negative aspects of driving and allow us to have plenty of fun along the way,” he says.