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    Electromobility in Germany: What Will It Take for There to Be a Boom in the Long Run?

    Despite the current boom in electromobility, in Germany there is still widespread skepticism toward electric vehicles. A survey commissioned by acatech revealed that only a quarter of respondents were contemplating purchasing an electric car. Why is this and how can this be changed?

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    In early August, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur, BMVi) reported that, for the first time ever, a million electric vehicles were out and about on German roads – a major triumph for German automotive companies and policymakers. After all, the target announced ten years ago still seemed like a utopian dream until recently. It was only when the innovation grant for buying an electric car was doubled in July 2020 that it created the desired momentum – and one sales record after the other: Around 350,000 electric vehicles were registered in the first seven months of 2021 alone – the same amount as the total sold throughout 2020.

    Spurred on by the growth potential – and probably also driven by the progress made by global competitors – the German automotive industry is aiming to invest around 150 billion euros into electromobility by 2025. Electromobility in Germany has been given the green light. But a representative survey commissioned by acatech (the German Academy of Science and Engineering) revealed that the majority of German citizens are still stuck at a red light and skeptical about this topic.

    Webasto Charging Stations in Underground Parking The number of electric vehicles on German roads is increasing - yet German citizens are sceptical.

    Despite all this, only 24 percent would buy an electric car

    Graph on the survey of electric car useA Survey on the use of electric cars shows low willingness among the population.

    In July, acatech published the Mobility Monitor 2021. This survey revealed that the German population is still critical of electromobility. According to its findings, only 24 percent of respondents were considering purchasing an electric car over the next few years. An uptick? No chance! Just like the past decade, only around a quarter of respondents were enthusiastic about electric cars. Even the announcement of an innovation grant and a wider range of vehicles were not enough to impress the remaining 75 percent. This is astonishing, sobering and requires attention.

    Presumably, in the age of the coronavirus and economic uncertainty, a new car – regardless of whether it’s electric or fuel-powered – is not necessarily at the top of people’s shopping lists. But what else is stopping respondents from even contemplating buying an electric car?

    They stated various reasons in the survey: “Electric cars are still too expensive” (72 percent), “they don’t have enough range” (67 percent) and “there aren’t enough charging stations for electric cars” (66 percent) were the top 3 doubts.

    We thought it was telling that there were five objections relating to charging in the top 10 concerns. We grapple with this issue every day in our efforts to develop charging stations and batteries. We want to drive electromobility forward through technical innovations. Our experts explain what Webasto is doing to get the remaining 75 percent stoked about electromobility.

  • There are not enough charging stations for electric cars.

    Currently just under 25.000 charging stations (Statista, 2021)

    are installed in Germany. However, the charging stations are often hidden away in parking garages and in a corner of public parking lots.

    Charging stations should be predominantly installed where they are needed. In addition to fast chargers on highways, there is a lack of charging stations in places we frequent every day; the places where we park our car. AC charging stations (“wallboxes”) are often fully adequate for charging an electric vehicle during work, while shopping, at the gym or at home. Everyday charging becomes simple and convenient with our Webasto wallboxes. KfW, the government-owned investment and development bank, is also offering subsidies for private charging stations for electric cars worth 900 euros.

     

    “Charging electric cars takes too long."

    If you drive a conventional car with a combustion engine, you will be driving around with several times the amount of energy you need in the tank. Driving an electric car requires a different way of thinking here, as the range is currently still lower.

    However, the average German drives less than 30 km per day. With a charging capacity of 11kW, the electric car can charge the required amount of energy (let’s assume 15kWh per 100km) in less than half an hour. As most cars stay in the same spot for most of the day anyway, this parking time can also be used to charge the vehicle, even if it’s just here and there.

    Graph on reservations about e-carsThe main concern regarding the purchase of electric cars is the high initial cost. 
  • Webasto Pure charging station in private garage The Webasto Pure ensures easy installation and userfriendly handling.

    “Charging stations are often in inconvenient locations."

    Many of our customers – including employers, parking management companies, and retailers – have now realized that setting up a charging infrastructure on their premises is vital. We are developing compatible charging stations and digital solutions for these applications to make charging as easy as possible for guests and employees.  This way not only are we bringing charging stations to people and companies, but we are also enabling comprehensive digital management of the charging stations, including user management or data analysis via the web portal.

     

    “The charging stations are often difficult to operate."

    The success of the charging stations hinges on their user-friendliness, which is one of the key criteria in developing new Webasto products. And our success confirms we are right on track: In 2021 we won the Plus X Award in the “customer satisfaction” category for our wallboxes.
    To stay at the top of our game, we regularly communicate with our customers and incorporate their feedback when developing wallboxes and digital solutions. As a result, our customers can now conveniently control the charging station via an app and be informed of the current charging status via a push notification from the charging station (e.g. to your smart watch).

    In the survey, respondents also stated other reasons holding them back from purchasing an electric vehicle. In another article, we answer questions such as “Are electric cars more expensive than petrol or diesel models?”, “Does an electric car really need the whole night to charge?” and “Are there enough charging stations?”.

     

  • Our Products
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    Webasto Pure 

    Easy, safe, practical and quick: The cost-effective Webasto Pure charging station offers you high charging power, maximum safety, and the utmost convenience.

    » Learn more

    Webasto Live

    Smart, efficient, and connected: With the Webasto Live charging station, you use the opportunities and advantages of the electric mobility optimally. 

    » Learn more

    Webasto Mode 3 Type 2 Charging Cable

    Webasto Charging Cable

    Our "to go" charging cable allows charging at public charging stations. The Mode 3 type 2 charging cable is suitable for electric cars with type 2 connector. 

    » Learn more

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