By on April 30, 2010

Germans are ready to buy an electric car. Under conditions: The car must come with a justifiable price, and with the performance one expects from a common ICE. In other words: Forget about it. Nein.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Fraunhofer-Institute conducted a joint research project to fathom the future of the EV. Their conclusion, as per Das Autohaus: “Limited marketability.”  That’s German for “you’ve got to be nuts to bet on it.”

60 percent of Germany’s drivers would only buy an EV if it costs and delivers the same as a regular car. Knowing how people hide the truth when questioned about environmental issues (or radical political leanings) it’s probably a good guess that most of the other 40 percent are lying.

Outlook for mass electrification is bleak: By 2020, the experts see 55,000 EVs in Germany, used in a car-sharing setting for inner-city mobility. That, ladies and gentlemen, reflects 0.1 percent of Germany’s cars.

Germans suffer from a communal case of range anxiety. 90 percent think the current range is unacceptable. Even people who predominantly drive in the city want their range if and when they need it. What if we visit grandma? How do we drive to the Mediterranean during holidays?

And what about the planet? The jury is divided. 50 percent believe that only the EV will help averting ecological disaster. The other 50 percent says that the electricity must come from somewhere (oil, coal, nuclear, Russian gas…,)  and it’s only green if it’s made in an ecologically responsible way. In other words: No.

Now mind you, these are the same Germans who live in that country with the supposedly stellar public transportation system, where the next city is just a short stroll away, and where people don’t need a car as badly as people in flyover states, or in Levittown, NY.

PS: The German government just poured even colder water over the whole Elektroauto thing: Government money to subsidize the outrageous prices of batteries-on-wheels? Forget about it. Automobilwoche [sub] just reported: “The German government will not subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles.” The most they will possibly, maybe do is let EVs use bus lanes, vielleicht, unter Umständen. A little less tax, maybe. That’s it. That days before a big EV-summit on Monday in Berlin. It won’t be a happy meeting.

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14 Comments on “Germans Are Electro Skeptics...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    What if we visit grandma?

    Isn’t that what the ICE is for?

  • avatar
    Brian E

    And here I was expecting them to be skeptics because Germans can’t build reliable electronics.

  • avatar

    Pretty much my sentiments

  • avatar
    john.fritz

    Not to worry my German Freunde, die Regierung will be deciding what you drive by the time 2020 rolls around.

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    Internal Combustion Engine: the fabric of our lives.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    The Fatherland is not alone of trusting the EVs, Middle Kingdom had only sold a few / under 50 of the EVs to local Govt. Rest is sitting on the shelf not flew off the shelf.

    For any country that relies on Coal/ gas firing Gen to make Juices the Pollution will only get worse.

    When u have limited range and takes a long time to re-charge thats a very big issue. Unless the charge time can be wittle down to having a lunch IE a lunch break then would be more acceptable.

  • avatar
    mrcrispy

    Thank God for the Germans. Even Clarkson would have to admit that. I lived in Munich 10 years ago and the public transport was superb, e.g. even today I find SFO isn’t as good (maybe NYC though).

    The only decent use for electrics is as an additional motor to provide low end torque.

  • avatar

    If EVs eventually work out, that is, the things becme just as versatile as ICE, those countries that subsidize early adoption may end up with an advantage in terms of having infrastructure in place, and getting the bugs out of said infrastructure. That advantage may or may not be trivial. I haven’t thought about it, although I tend to think it won’t make a big dif.

  • avatar

    German cab drivers would make excellent guinea pigs. But neither do they drive hybrids, nor electric cars. Why? Sanity, maybe?

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    DH; my bet is that for EV’s ever to take charge it will be a new tech. Something not yet invented. Present infrastructure might even be a hindrance to it. We’ll see. As it stands now EV’s are talking points, nothing else. Too short distance, too slow to recharge and the models are just too weird to be practical.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    And it won’t work in the USA either.

  • avatar
    Darrencardinal1

    >>>> And what about the planet? The jury is divided. 50 percent believe that only the EV will help averting ecological disaster.

    Really?

    I wonder what percentage realize there is no coming ecological disaster, whether we switch to electrics or not.

    Enviro-nuts love to spell out these end of the world scenarios that never come to pass.


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