Germans less inclined to buy electric cars: study

Only 41 percent of Germans preferred an alternative drive system for their next car purchase last year, a decrease of ten percentage points compared to 2019, according to a study published by the accounting firm Deloitte on Wednesday.

While the number of Germans who would like their next car to have an alternative drive system had risen significantly in 2019, it almost fell back to the same level as in 2018, the latest study found.

“The fact that people have nevertheless bought more electric cars shows that the German government’s stimulus measures from last year are having an effect,” said Harald Proff, partner and head of automotive sector at Deloitte Germany.

Last year, the government increased the premium for people purchasing electric vehicles, with subsidy for purely electric vehicles up to 9,000 euros (10,762 U.S. dollars).

In 2020, electric cars achieved a market share of 13.5 percent in Germany, with a total of 394,943 new electric cars registered, up 263 percent year-on-year, according to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).

German consumers’ reduced interest in alternative drives was also reflected in their willingness to pay, the study found. Fifty-four percent were not willing to pay a surcharge above 400 euros for a vehicle with an alternative drive system.

In China, on the other hand, 60 percent of consumers were willing to pay a surcharge for an alternative drive, while the share in India and South Korea was even 62 percent, the survey showed.

A low driving range and insufficient charging infrastructure remained the biggest concerns about buying a battery electric vehicle (BEV) for consumers in the United States and Germany, the study found. In China, on the other hand, consumers were most concerned about safety, followed by a low range.

Deloitte has been conducting the Global Automotive Consumer Study regularly since 2010. In fall 2020, Deloitte surveyed more than 24,000 consumers from 23 countries worldwide. In Germany, 1,050 people over the age of 18 took part in the survey.