Saturday, June 22, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

A dismal year for German electric cars

Published 7 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
The German electric car market is said to be largely saturated.

2024 is not expected to be a good year for the German electric car market, with major manufacturers announcing production cuts.

– The top end of the EV market is almost saturated, and there is little to offer in the lower €25,000 segment, explains automotive consultant Jan Burgard.

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse has become unpopular, accused of being far too cautious in the electric car market and not making a serious effort to challenge Tesla and other major players in the industry.

Zipse hasn’t been uncritical about the future of electric cars – instead, he has warned that demand will decline in Germany and has publicly advocated focusing on internal combustion vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars, reports Swedish business newspaper Dagens PS. Now it seems he is about to be proved right.

Jan Burgard, head of the automotive consulting group Beryll, points out that demand for electric vehicles is declining in Germany and that 2024 looks bleak in this regard.

– The top end of the EV market is almost saturated, and there is little to offer in the lower €25,000 segment, he explains.

Unrealistic target

Selling electric cars is difficult, and sales are expected to fall by as much as 14% in 2024 – partly due to the withdrawal of government subsidies. This would be the first time since 2016 that electric car sales have fallen.

As recently as October 2022, the federal government announced that it would invest 6.3 million to have one million charging stations in the country by 2030 – but last fall there were just over 100,000.

To meet the target, construction will have to be at least three times faster than today, and Zipse argues that it is simply unrealistic to expect to have charging stations in every small community in the near future. He also points out that it is much more difficult to find charging stations in other European countries than in Germany.

The German goal of having 15 million electric cars on the country’s roads by 2030 is unrealistic, Burgard says – and as of November 2023, only 2% of all passenger cars were electric.

In addition to BMW’s already “cautious” stance on electric cars, Audi has announced that it is cutting back on its electric car business, and automaker Volkswagen has made the same announcement.

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