Electric cars remain a niche market in Germany, as evidenced by the proportion
of all new passenger car registrations accounted for by electric and hybrid cars.
Although this has increased steadily in recent years, it stood at only 1.8% in
2016. This reticence on the part of buyers cannot be explained by a lack of
supply alone. Lots of automotive manufacturers have launched electric cars and
plug-in hybrids over recent years. The choice of vehicles is now actually quite
wide. The voices championing electromobility from within politics, industry,
academia, NGOs and the media can emphasise the actual or putative benefits
of electric driving as much as they like, but the average (private) car buyer has
yet to be persuaded.
There are various reasons for this: high purchase prices in
comparison with cars with conventional combustion engines, particularly in the
mass market segment, fears and lack of empirical data regarding resale values
and battery life, the low range of most battery-driven vehicles, limited charging
networks and lengthy charging times.