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Breakthrough imminent for electric mobility in Germany

Berlin, 26 December 2017

Sales of electric vehicles more than double last year’s figure

“Electric mobility is becoming more and more popular in Germany. Sales of electric vehicles have more than doubled compared with last year. And the number of models on offer is steadily increasing. By 2020, customers will have over 100 e-models from German makers to choose from, which is three times as many as there are today. We expect that in 2025, 15 to 25 percent of newly registered passenger cars will have electric drive,” VDA President Wissmann explained today in Berlin.

In November, new registrations of electric cars (BEVs, PHEVs and fuel cell vehicles) rose by 138 percent to the new record of 6,311 units. The proportion of electric vehicles among all new passenger car registrations came to 2.1 percent in November, exceeding the 2 percent mark for the first time. Over the year so far the rise has been 1.5 percent (0.7 percent last year). The market share going to the German group brands during the first eleven months amounted to 65 percent (59 percent last year).

Wissmann went on to say that the German automotive industry was investing a total of 40 billion euros in alternative powertrains in the period up to 2020. Yet more would be required for a successful market ramp-up and the corresponding demand. “Electric mobility can become established in the long term only if the charging infrastructure is rapidly expanded, politicians create smart tax regulations, battery range is extended, and the price is right,” Wissmann said.

At present, people buying a new all-electric vehicle receive an ‘environment bonus’ of 4,000 euros, half of which is paid by the state and half by the manufacturer, and the car is exempt from motor-vehicle tax for ten years. Plug-in hybrid vehicles qualify for an environment bonus of 3,000 euros. In recent months the demand has been rising steadily. According to the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA), a total of 42,251 applications for environment bonuses had been filed by November 30, 2017.

Germany currently has over 10,800 publicly accessible charging stations, 560 of which are rapid charging points. Next year the number of normal charging points will treble to over 30,000 due to the German Government’s promotional scheme, and the number of rapid charging points will increase five-fold. “We expect that in 2018 Germany will already have one charging point for every five e-cars. The more visible the charging infrastructure in Germany becomes, the more attractive this type of powertrain will be to potential drivers of e-vehicles,” the VDA president stated.

The German vehicle makers are investing not only in the development of e-vehicles, but also in creating the charging infrastructure. For example, a high-power charging network is being set up at 400 sites in Europe: Ionity, a joint venture involving BMW, Daimler, VW’s Audi and Porsche brands, and the Ford Motor Company. It comprises a network of charging stations along the main arterial routes in Europe. It will provide up to 350 kW, thus enabling these stations to provide the fastest charging at intervals of around 120 kilometers.

The great majority of charging – 85 percent – takes place on private premises. “Everyone concerned will be able to make definite plans if the availability of charging points is also taken into consideration in the legislation on construction, owner-occupation and rented accommodation. And with the right regulatory conditions, electric drive will also be attractive to more and more fleet managers,” Wissmann declared. A plug-in hybrid car, he explained, had much lower use costs in urban traffic because it consumed considerably less fuel than a conventional gasoline or diesel-powered car. The average range of electric cars had already broken through the 250-kilometer mark in 2017, he added. By 2020, e-cars could travel up to 500 kilometers on a single battery charge. “The new models are driving this development,” the VDA president said.

“According to a study by McKinsey, we in Germany are already one of the leading providers – in 2025 we could even lead the world in electric mobility. On the path to that status, we will have to pay attention to three aspects in particular: an expanded charging infrastructure, financial incentives and long ranges,” said Wissmann.

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

Tel: +49 30 897842-120 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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