Electromobility is an increasingly topical issue and one that has also been embraced by the German government in the past year: In order to make the purchase and use of electric vehicles more attractive, there are now purchase incentives for end consumers and those entitled to company cars, additional funding for upgrading charging infrastructure, as well as special privileges for electric car owners, for example when parking in city centers.
Registration figures from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) show significant growth rates for battery electric vehicles, albeit at a low base level in relation to the overall figures.
But how have end customers responded to alternative drive systems, and to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in particular? In its 2021 DAT Report, Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH analyzed what we know about alternative drive systems. The conclusions drawn in the report are based on the opinions of used and new car buyers who purchased a new car in 2020.
An overview of the results:
People who purchased a private vehicle in 2020 were asked to what extent they had considered purchasing a car with an alternative drive type (battery electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, or natural gas vehicle) during their decision-making process. While 38% of new car buyers answered that they had considered an alternative drive type, only 13% of used car buyers responded in the same way.
The high premiums offered by manufacturers and importers in conjunction with the federal government for new electric cars probably motivated many new car buyers to consider this technology during the customer journey. Since 2020, newer electric used cars have also been subsidized, but interest was relatively limited due to the comparatively low number of these cars available and the sometimes outdated (battery) technology.
The KBA is registration statistics show who ultimately opted for an alternative drive type. In 2020, a total of around 400,000 units (BEV and PHEV) were newly registered (privately and commercially), representing around 14% of all new registrations. For changes of ownership, the figure was just under 40,000 units a share of just one percent.
Range, charging times, and costs remain obstacles for electric vehicles
The majority of car buyers opted for a combustion engine once again in 2020. When asked about the top three reasons why they did not buy a battery electric vehicle, new car buyers cited the following reasons: For 59%, limited range was the main obstacle, followed by charging times (49%), and underdeveloped infrastructure (47%). The order of priority was somewhat different for used car buyers: High acquisition costs (55%) and limited range (55%) prevented people from buying an electric vehicle, followed by charging times (38%).
The statement prefer combustion technology was cited as a reason by only 17% of new and 20% of used car buyers. Therefore, when deciding for or against an electric vehicle, there are more important issues for car buyers and their mobility requirements than a general preference for an internal combustion engine.
Regardless of the charging option, 60% of all private new car buyers indicated that they have a garage, 18% have a carport or parking space, 16% said they park their vehicle on the street, while 5% have an underground parking space. The picture is somewhat different for used car buyers: Here, those who park their car on the street are most strongly represented at 39%, followed by 38% for garage owners. 19% had a carport or parking space, and again, 5% park their car in an underground garage.
You can order the DAT Report 2021 for a fee via the web store of the German Association of the Automotive Trade (ZDK). Automotive businesses that belong to a guild of the ZDK can purchase it there at a preferential price.
SilverDAT customers can order a single copy free of charge here, quoting their customer number.
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2021, Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH