German Vehicle Owners Still Reluctant to Switch to EVs

Like most developed countries, Germany is scrambling to reduce its carbon emissions by replacing internal combustion engine vehicles with zero-emission electric vehicles (“EVs”). Specifically, Germany, which is home to some of the largest automakers in the world, would like to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. Having an estimated 7-10 million battery electric vehicles (“BEVs”) on the roads by 2030 is integral to this goal. Unfortunately, German drivers aren’t as receptive to BEVs as the government and the young electric vehicle industry would like them to be.

At the moment, only 1.2% of the 48.2 million passenger vehicles registered in the Germany are electric. For the country to achieve its carbon emission goals within the designated timeline, it would need 14 million BEVs on the roads by 2030, much more than 7 to 10 million, says Agora Verkehrswende, an environmental think tank based in Berlin. But to do that, the government will need to overcome major challenges that prevent German drivers from switching to electric vehicles.

According to a survey by YouGov conducted in February among 2,036 people, 50% of the respondents named range anxiety as a major deterrent against going green. Another 54% of the respondents found electric vehicles way too expensive, 38% found the current network of charging stations was inadequate, and 35% weren’t sure of the environmental benefits of electric vehicles. Additionally, one-third of the respondents said that even if these issues were addressed, they still wouldn’t purchase a zero-emission electric vehicle.

Another poll commissioned by the country’s VKU local utilities association that surveyed 10,000 drivers was also published in February and found that 39% wouldn’t buy an electric vehicle as their next car “under any circumstances.” However, 38% said they would consider buying one if EV makers improved the range, 36% would buy an EV if they were cheaper, and 31.5% would consider switching to a zero-emission EV if there were more public stations. So how are the powers that be working to address these deterrents?

The German government has been offering €9,000 ($10,752) in purchase premiums to make EVs less expensive and spur their adoption. And with EV batteries, which add around €5,000 to €10,000 to EV prices, expected to become cheaper to produce, electric vehicles will become more affordable.

To allay range anxiety, the government plans on building a network of fast-charging stations across the country that can recharge EV batteries by 80–100% in only 30 minutes. As battery and EV makers keep making advancements in battery technology, fears of running out of power are bound to become obsolete.

Companies such as Ideanomics Inc. (NASDAQ: IDEX) have stepped up to address similar concerns among motorists, particularly in North America. Such initiatives are likely to go a long way in assuaging the concerns of people and encouraging them to embrace electric mobility, which will bring the zero-emissions targets within reach.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Ideanomics Inc. (NASDAQ: IDEX) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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