23 Jul 2020, 13:44
Benjamin Wehrmann

E-mobility could boost Germany's post-pandemic recovery – consultancy

Clean Energy Wire

The increasing demand for electric vehicles in Germany could become an important pillar of the country's economic recovery after the COVID-19 crisis, consultancy PwC says. Registrations of electric vehicles increased 26 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year and e-cars (including plug-in hybrids and battery-driven cars) now account for a share of nearly 17 percent of all new registrations, the consultancy found. "The development of e-mobility is proof during the crisis that the transformation towards a strategically important segment of the market is not only continuing but even accelerating," said PwC automotive industry expert Felix Kuhnert. If current trends in e-car sales persist, Europe's carmakers could even hope to meet the European Union's new vehicle emissions limits in 2020, he added. However, the growing demand is not yet matched by supply, Kuhnert cautioned. "There's a long delivery time, which is why the effects of government support [for e-car sales] will only be fully felt next year."

Across Europe, sales of cars with conventional diesel and petrol-fuelled engines dropped significantly by about 58 percent in the second quarter of the year, which in many European countries marked the height of the coronavirus-induced economic lockdown. However, e-car sales across 10 European markets rose by more than 25 percent in the first half of the year. Christoph Stürmer, analyst at PwC Autofacts, said e-cars proved to be "an island of stability" during the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic, arguing that "2020 could become a turning point for electric mobility in Europe." 

Germany's carmakers have largely been latecomers to the budding electric vehicle market but all announced offering a wide range of e-cars in the near future. Already before the coronavirus hit economic production, customers were granted a purchase premium for low-emissions vehicles, which in the context of the government's recovery programme has been increased to up to 6,000 euros per car, whereas combustion engine models have been excluded altogether. In the context of its 2030 climate action programme, the government has set the aim of putting ten million e-cars on the road by the end of the decade.

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