Already today, 30 percent of Germans would rather drive an electric vehicle than a car with a conventional powertrain. 71 percent would even be prepared to dispense with their current vehicle’s maximum speed in the case of a car with alternative powertrain. For 54 percent, the size of the car would no longer matter as much, and for 52 percent rapid acceleration would then cease to be a crucial consideration.
Nor would charging the battery present a problem for many. That is because 51 percent already have a fixed parking spot with electric socket. Admittedly, 80 percent of those surveyed would also like to see an expansion of the public charging point network.
For 43 percent, the most important prerequisite for the procurement of an electric vehicle is price. And as Dr. Elmar Degenhart, CEO of Continental AG, notes, that is still a problem: “Car buyers’ are very sensitive to price. There is currently a difference of around €10,000 between the cost of an electric car and the cost of a vehicle with a traditional combustion engine. We thus regard the short-term market opportunities as somewhat difficult: For that very reason it is important for both suppliers and manufacturers to grasp every opportunity to reduce costs for vehicles with electric drives in a way that does not depend on the volume of cars sold.” To be sure, the study also showed that more than one out of every two respondents is generally willing to pay more for products that are eco-friendly.
Continental is one of the pioneers in the area of hybrid and electric vehicle technology. The company has been developing components such as power electronics, electric machines and energy-storage devices for hybrid and electric drives since back in the mid-1990s. The company has specifically advanced the development of high-voltage lithium-ion battery systems for electric vehicles. Degenhart continues: “Continental is working tirelessly on the electrification of the powertrain, even though the conventional combustion engine will continue to dominate the market for many years to come. Be it industry, science or politics – everyone involved in this is going to have to collaborate even more closely in the future. Only by working together across the industry will we be able to tackle the challenges posed by electric mobility in the best interests of car drivers.”