According to Statista, 46.5 million cars populate Germany’s roads. With a population density of 82.6 million people, more than one in two drives a car. By comparison, the stock of electric cars is dwindling. The Federal Motor Transport Authority counted just 53,861 vehicles at the beginning of the year. What is the reason for this?
Despite the environmental bonus for electric mobility announced by the German government in 2016, the sale of electric vehicles may not really gain momentum. According to a recent study by Horváth & Partners, this is due to the high sales prices. And this despite the trend towards falling battery costs for electric vehicles.
The management consultancy calculates: in 2017, one kilowatt hour cost about 170 euros, almost 25 percent less than in the previous year. In 2010, the price was still around 600 euros per kilowatt hour. Accordingly, the value of leading lithium-ion batteries is falling steadily. Dr. Oliver Greiner, head of the study and partner at Horváth & Partners assumes that prices will continue to fall: “We are convinced that the trend will continue and that one kilowatt hour in 2020 will cost less than 100 euros.
The customer reaches deep into his pocket
Only the customer feels nothing of all this – quite the contrary. He still has to dig deep into his pocket for an electric car. For example, the electric car from BMW is available from 37,550 euros, as can be seen on the website. The price for a BMW1 Series starts at 25,150 Euros.
One of the most important factors in spreading electric vehicles further is the price. According to Horváth & Partners, falling battery prices are elementary for the breakthrough. At the moment, electric cars are simply too expensive for consumers.
Dr. Oliver Greiner calculates: “Even if you include the purchase premium of the German government, the premium was still over 30 percent. “It should, therefore, be noted that the rapidly falling battery prices have not yet reached the customer. It also becomes clear that the German government’s eco-rebate offers little incentive for consumers.
Understandably, because who spends 30 percent more on a car voluntarily if, moreover, it is not yet secured where it can be refueled?
Not enough charging stations
According to Wikipedia, there are currently around 12,000 charging stations with more than 35,000 charging points in Germany. In some cities, for example in Stuttgart, the network with 312 stations is relatively well developed. Others, on the other hand – and Munich is one of them – are lagging behind with 218. Goingelectric puts it vividly on a map of Germany.
Stadtwerke München is trying to counteract this. With a charging station for home use. Only this costs 1,249 Euro with a charging capacity of 11kW. For 22 kW an electric car owner has to pay 1,549 Euro, plus the preparation of the electrical installation.
If you want to be comfortable, you have to reach into your pocket again. How nice it would be if at least the car manufacturers set a good example and passed on price advantages to consumers. But they are so busy working on their past mistakes like diesel and exhaust scandals that there is no time to seriously work on electro-mobile concepts. So far, at least, there has been no talk of attractive offers for consumers.
In view of current developments, the German government’s goal of achieving a distribution of 1 million electric cars by 2020 is also faltering. If the growth rate continues as in the previous year, one million electric vehicles will only be on German roads in 2022. Horváth & Partners have calculated this. This also includes plug-in hybrids and vehicles with fuel cells.
In short; it is completely laudable that, despite everything, there are consumers who choose an electric car when buying a car.
Anyone planning to do so can at least download the federal government’s application for an environmental bonus here: https://fms.bafa.de/BafaFrame/umweltbonus
Chart:Horváth & Partners