The electric automobile market – ambitious goals and hard facts

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The federal government in Germany set itself a remarkable goal in 2013. Around one million electric cars are expected to be on German roads by 2020. The hope for more vehicles of this type was even higher at the time. In the meantime, the target value appears to have moved a long way off. 55,000 electric cars (including plug-in hybrids) are currently in active use in Germany. According to current estimates, there will be a maximum of 200,000 vehicles in 2020. But what is the reason for this reluctance in the field of e-mobility and what does the electric car market actually look like in other countries?

The electric car market in a direct country comparison

The USA has the highest number of around 400,000 electric cars, closely followed by China with around 300,000. However, if you consider the population in relation to the number of inhabitants, another value clearly comes to the fore. Much more important in a country comparison is the consideration of the market share of e-mobility on the roads. Here Norway is an important pioneer by a large margin. Over 18% of the vehicles on the streets are currently e-cars. These are mainly the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf and Tesla Model S. Also in the Netherlands, with a market share of 8.4% electric cars and 43,970 new registrations in 2015, there is a clear trend towards e-drives. In comparison, Germany scores very poorly with a share of 0.77% e-cars on the roads.

Reasons for the electric car boom

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What is the reason for the electric car boom in other countries? After all, compared to Norway and the Netherlands, Germany has a higher number of charging stations, which should essentially simplify the use of an e-car. The electric car boom in Norway can be explained by the environmentally friendly and particularly sustainable mentality of the Norwegians. The state subsidies in Germany and Norway in relation to electric cars, such as the exemption from vehicle tax and a purchase bonus of up to € 4,000, do not differ from one another. Another advantage that owners of e-cars in the Netherlands have over German e-car owners is an excellent infrastructure. For example, in large cities such as Amsterdam, where it is usually particularly difficult to find parking spaces, they have made special parking facilities available for electric cars.

Electric car market in comparison – Conservative growth in Germany

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Overall, Germans have little desire for electric cars, as these are still too expensive for many people. Even the purchase premium of € 4,000 is not enough to convince fuel drivers to switch. The federal government should perhaps consider increasing state subsidies, as is the case in France. A purchase premium of € 6,300 is customary there, which in turn is reflected in the number of new registrations. But not only the price is decisive, an expansion of the infrastructure must also be considered, such as parking facilities for electric cars in large cities like the Netherlands or inductive charging technology using magnetic coils on the roadway, as is the case in Great Britain. The possibilities are almost limitless and the electric car market is only just beginning to develop. It will therefore be exciting to see to what extent Germany will make use of these opportunities and when we too can expect an electric car boom.

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