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E-mobility: Europe is lagging, America is in doubt, China is booming

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D he headline sounds gloomy if you bet on the mobility transition in Germany. But you always have to put studies in relation to the real world, so let's do that now. According to a recent study by the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) network, the demand for electrified cars in the European core markets (Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain and Italy) is growing exponentially. In the first quarter of 2019, the segment increased by 34.5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. Purely battery-electric cars (BEV) recorded the strongest boost with 61.7 percent. Only the plug-in hybrids are depressing the upswing with a minus of 6.3 percent.

Land Rover
Plug-in hybrids are weakening in sales in the European core markets.

Five Times as many electric cars in China

And now comes the matter of the relationship to the real world. Compared to Europe, five times more e-cars rolled onto the streets in China in the first quarter of 2019. While the overall market in the Far East stagnated, BEV approvals increased by a whopping 106.5 percent. There were 185,000 cars in China, while Europe had just 36,000 in the same period. According to PwC, it is clear that the electrified vehicles in China should not complement the combustion engine, but replace it.

There is also an increase in the USA, albeit significantly weaker than in the previous year - here the figure is around 36 percent this year compared to a value of 130 percent in 2018. According to the experts, this is due to the market launch of the Tesla Model 3 last year. At 30 percent, the segment share in the USA is still ten points above that in Europe. In particular, the supply does not keep up with the demand because many models are not yet on the market.

High costs and limited range

Hans-Dieter Seufert
The extradition of the Tesla Model 3 gave the electric car segment a major boost in the USA in 2018. The 2019 figures can't keep up with that.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has carried out its own study on the domestic market . The majority of customers there believe that there will be more self-driving than electric cars on the road by 2029. Although around 40 million Americans want to think about at least an electric vehicle the next time they buy a car. However, doubts about the technology also arise in part from ignorance. The change from models of the first generation of electric cars to the current models with a wide range has not yet arrived in many minds. Limited range, high acquisition costs and a lack of public charging infrastructure are still the main deterrent factors. The AAA expects a turnaround especially when electric cars arrive on the used car market. This would make you accessible to a broader clientele.

According to the PwC study, the global market share of electric cars is 2.1 percent. From a value of three percent, one could say that a technology has arrived on the market. When the time comes, we'll talk again about the relationship to the real world. You can find out which cars you can buy in Germany in our picture gallery.

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