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02 Apr 2020, 13:39
Sören Amelang

E-car driver satisfaction drops sharply as vehicles enter mass market – survey

Clean Energy Wire

The initial enthusiasm of early electric car drivers has given way to increasing frustration as the technology has started to enter the mass market, according to a survey by Consultancy UScale. Of 1200 e-car drivers surveyed in Germany, only 59 percent would recommend a car of their brand, down from 77 percent a year earlier. Thirteen percent would advise against the same purchase today – twice as many as last year. "The cars have not become worse, but expectations have risen, and are set to increase further," UScale founder Axel Sprenger told Clean Energy Wire. "Until recently, people who bought electric cars were enthusiastic pioneers who were excited about everything. Now, we're increasingly dealing with the group of early adopters that want to use their cars normally," Sprenger said. "But the system is not ready yet for the mass market," he added. "People buying electric cars were counting on the charging infrastructure to work. But often it simply doesn't. The survey results show that both carmakers and infrastructure providers really have to work hard to enable the diffusion of this technology."

Sprenger said few e-car buyers expressed frustration about the lower range of their vehicles. "This is because they knew about this disadvantage when they bought the car." In contrast, the survey revealed "massive problems with charging”.  More than 80 percent of e-car drivers said they had experienced problems related to charging, such as trouble to get it started, sudden interruptions, and unexpectedly long charging times. The survey also revealed that German carmakers still trail behind market leader Tesla when it comes to digital services related to electric vehicles. In contrast, German brands score well in classic engineering-related areas, such as noise insulation.

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