The main topics of the IAA are climate protection, sustainable mobility and sustainable drives, explained VDA President Müller. The second major trend is digitalization, which will make driving “even safer, more efficient and more comfortable”. In this way, visitors could try out autonomous driving.

The exhibitors offer their products at the exhibition center, including many Chinese suppliers and the US electric car manufacturer Tesla. Companies have been presenting new models since Saturday. In the center of Munich there is also a so-called open space where concerts and discussions take place. Around 700,000 visitors are expected by Sunday.

The IAA in September 2021 was already dominated by the mobility transition. The auto show had previously taken place in Frankfurt am Main for almost 70 years, and there were massive protests against the event there in 2019. In addition, the number of visitors fell significantly.

Numerous protests are planned in Munich for this year’s IAA, and around 1,500 people are expected to attend a “mobility transition camp”. In total, more than 4,500 police officers are deployed.

On Monday morning, Greenpeace activists demonstrated against the auto industry in front of the entrance to the fair. They stood in a large pool of water between three car roofs sunken to different depths. “Auto industry sinks climate protection” and “Shrink Now Or Sink Later” (shrink now or sink later) were on the banners.

Greenpeace accused German manufacturers of relying too little on economical models and electric cars. “With extra-heavy SUVs, highly equipped sports cars and XXL sedans, German car manufacturers are wasting scarce resources such as energy, raw materials and space.”

VDA President Müller once again called on politicians to create more charging options for electric cars. It is “very important” that people also have the feeling that they have charging infrastructure available everywhere and at any time, she said. “And unfortunately the federal government is falling far short of its own expansion goals.”

A sufficient amount of electricity and an adequate power grid are also very important. On Deutschlandfunk, Müller criticized the general conditions in Germany. Germany as a location is “no longer competitive”. This has to do with “energy costs that are too expensive”, with taxes, duties and levies and the bureaucracy in this country.

Müller admitted that it was “of course a problem” that there is currently no compact electric car on offer for less than 30,000 euros. “If you change production, you have high costs at first,” she said on Deutschlandfunk. If the German manufacturers “enter into mass production, then we believe that we will have comparable prices with combustion vehicles in the future – if not even cheaper”.