Survey Shows Electric Vehicles Least Preferred Powertrain Technology Choice in Germany
A Gartner, Inc. study revealed that German consumer purchase considerations for fully battery-operated electric vehicles (EVs) remain relatively low compared to other powertrain technologies and that most current EV offerings miss consumer's EV purchase and ownership requirements.
The analysis of Gartner's latest EV readiness study conducted in Germany in the first and second quarter of 2011 showed that the majority of German consumers prefer a gasoline-powered vehicle for their next vehicle purchase, followed by hybrid technology which saw consumer interest increasing compared to 2010. Consumer preferences for diesel technology seems to have peaked, but still make it the third highest-ranked technology choice followed by natural gas powered vehicles. Only 16 per cent of Germans definitely want to consider an EV in the future, making it the lowest ranking powertrain option.
Nearly one fifth of German drivers interested in EVs are not willing to pay a premium price for an electric car vs. a comparably sized vehicle with a traditional powertrain technology, and only 8 per cent are willing to pay €8,000 or more. The survey also showed that nearly half of all German consumers considering an EV for their next new vehicle purchase would require 30-40 per cent operational cost savings from EVs compared with a conventional car.
"Although the majority of German consumers continue to see EVs' benefits in environmental and socioeconomic implications, broad adoption of EVs will remain low as long as current offerings don't meet drivers' practical usability and cost-saving requirements," said Thilo Koslowski, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "To expand from early to mainstream EV adopters in Germany, automotive companies must focus on technology innovations, offer pricing strategies that are aligned with established premiums for diesel and hybrid powertrain options and develop diverse EV model mixes targeted at younger consumer segments that have higher EV interest levels than older demographics."
According to Gartner, the German government must closely examine and potentially reconsider its current efforts and objectives regarding e-mobility. If the goal is to achieve substantial sales of EVs then the government must step up its funding of research and development programs for battery technology advancements and home-charging deployment efforts, rather than a large-scale public charging infrastructure that may not be needed to address short to mid-term consumer demand. If the goal is to reduce dependency on oil and address environmental issues the government must broaden its funding to include other powertrain technologies that offer reduced energy consumption and consider encouraging the use of public transportation and alternative mobility solutions, such as new usage-based business models and car sharing programs.
Gartner maintains its 2009 prediction that in industrialised automotive markets, the number of battery-powered vehicles (plug-in full-electric and plug-in hybrid EVs) as a percentage of all vehicles sold using various types of propulsion technologies will range from 5-8 per cent of all vehicle sales by 2020, and from 15-20 per cent of all vehicle sales by 2030.
"E-mobility will become a viable addition to future transportation scenarios in Germany, but automotive companies and the German Government must address marketability requirements of EVs, prioritise technology investments and continue to promote cross-industry collaboration," Mr Koslowski said. "Future mobility concepts will consist of diverse powertrain choices and business models that will leverage technology to satisfy consumers' transportation needs while challenging traditional car ownership."
Additional information is available in the report "Gartner Study: Strategic Market Considerations for Electric Vehicle and e-Mobility Adoption in Germany." In the first and second quarter of 2011, Gartner surveyed 3,000 adults in the US, Germany and China who owned or leased an automobile, using an online panel to analyse consumer preferences, requirements and attitudes regarding EVs and showing how preferences have changed since 2010. Previous-year comparison data is based on a representative EV online panel study conducted by Gartner in the second quarter of 2010 among 2,000 adult vehicle owners. The report is available on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=1748416.
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,300 associates, including more than 1,800 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.