14 Jul 2021, 13:08
Edgar Meza

Most Germans remain sceptical about electric cars - survey

Clean Energy Wire

While a majority of Germans know that climate protection requires a different kind of mobility, most of them have serious reservations about electromobility and are largely sceptical about the digitisation of traffic, according to a survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute (IfD) on behalf of Germany’s National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech). “The vast majority are aware that the climate protection measures will change the framework conditions for their mobility,” said IfD managing director Renate Köcher. “However, the wishes for how the framework conditions should develop are significantly different from the expectations. Many fear restrictions but hope that technological progress and intelligent traffic concepts will provide the solution instead."  Just like last year, the Mobility Monitor 2021 report found that 24 percent of the population would consider purchasing an electric car and 31 percent a hybrid vehicle.

Several factors continue to deter a large majority of potential car buyers, however: purchasing costs (69%), range (67%), a perceived lack of charging stations (66%), long charging times (60%) and doubts about environmental compatibility (58%), the survey found. Despite stricter emission requirements, massive subsidy measures for alternative vehicles and the increasing focus of manufacturers on e-mobility, reservations about electromobility have hardly changed. “When it comes to developing environmentally friendly vehicles, we are technologically much more advanced than many people are aware of,” said Thomas Weber, vice president of acatech. “E-cars are still considered short-haul vehicles, which is no longer in line with reality due to larger and more powerful batteries. The charging infrastructure in Germany is growing in the private, public and commercial sectors, but is rated by many as inadequate. An important task in the coming years will be to close the gap between technological progress in mobility and acceptance by the population. That requires a joint effort by all those involved."

The take-up of electric cars was slugghish in Germany compared to many other markets, but has picked up sharply recently thanks to generous subisidies. The country will cross the threshold of having one million electric cars on its roads this month, half a year later than originally planned, according to energy and economy minister Peter Altmaier. Germany has been struggling to lower emissions in the transport sector, which have remained broadly stable for decades as gains from more efficient engines have been eaten up by heavier cars.

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