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      Mobilitätsstudie 2020 | Elektromobilität

      Electric Mobility Will Play an Important Role in the Future

      Continental Mobility Study 2020

      Electric mobility will play an important role in the future – but the road to the mass market is still a long way off.

      Electric mobility is regarded as a key concept for making private transportation more sustainable in the future. However, sales volumes of electrically powered vehicles – in Germany as well as in nearly all other parts of the world – are well below expectations and the scale required to achieve targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

      Around a third of those surveyed in Germany said they could imagine buying an electric car in the future, compared with just 17 percent in 2013.

      But despite the growing willingness in Germany to consider buying an electric vehicle, the fact remains that the majority of people cannot imagine doing so. What’s more, the percentage of respondents who cannot see themselves buying an electric car in the future is higher in Germany than anywhere else (57 percent).

      In France (56 percent) and the US (50 percent), at least half of the population cannot imagine themselves in an electric car, and the percentage in Japan is only slightly lower (46 percent). China is a clear exception here: only 12 percent of those surveyed in the mobility study cannot imagine buying an electrically powered car.

      Overall, the most important factor that speaks against electric cars for most people is range anxiety.

      The three most frequently cited arguments against electric driving in Germany are the lack of charging stations (interestingly, more so in cities than in rural areas), the low range, and the need for pre-planning and longer breaks if long distances have to be covered. The high price is only the fourth most important factor in Germany by some margin.

      Lack of charging stations is the most cited argument against electric driving in four of the five countries studied. Only in France is the price the most discouraging factor. Misgivings are also relatively evenly distributed from an international perspective: the four main arguments of electrosceptics are the same in all five countries.

      In all the countries studied, policymakers are attempting to steer buyers toward alternative drive systems by means of monetary and non-monetary incentives. All five countries offer purchase premiums for electric vehicles, for example. In Germany, these have been increased as part of the stimulus package to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus on the economy; in China, the premiums that were set to expire have been extended. In Japan, policymakers are also targeting manufacturers and paying innovation premiums for increases in range. Charging infrastructure is also being expanded in all the countries studied.

      Lawmakers are thus addressing many aspects that are deterring consumers. In addition to concrete developments in this area, however, the level of awareness and information available to the general public also needs to be increased.

      Range anxiety is one of the key arguments against buying an electric car in all countries – but most people can now already easily meet their daily mobility needs with an electric vehicle, since the distances that need to be covered are usually short and charging stations are becoming increasingly available at home or at work and in public spaces – places where a car is often parked for a longer period of time.

      There are, however, other obstacles that cannot be overcome by technological developments alone. In Germany, a third of the respondents said that they would not consider an electric car since they doubt that the technology is environmentally friendly. In France, a quarter said the same thing. The situation is entirely different in the other three countries included in the study, where the percentage of those who doubt the ecological credentials of electric cars is much lower, ranging from 11 percent in the US to just 1 percent in Japan. 

      In Germany in particular, attempts are being made to increase the prevalence of electric vehicles by means of monetary incentives, most recently by significantly increasing purchase premiums as part of the economic stimulus package to overcome the coronavirus crisis.

      The survey data shows, however, that the misgivings are more of a structural nature and are unlikely to be overcome with a premium in the long term.

      Download the brochure "(Electric) Mobility During the COVID-19 Pandemic" - pdf (633KB) as part of the Mobility Study 2020.

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