Fraunhofer ISI Study on Achievability of Electromobility Target 2020 of 1 Million Electric Cars in Germany

A new study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) “Market launch scenarios for electric vehicles” shows that a successful market launch of electric cars depends on various external factors. ISI considers the joint goal of the German government and NPE Mobility of one million electric cars by 2020 still reachable under optimistic assumptions, even without monetary measures. Only 150,000 and 200,000 electric cars on Germany’s roads are possible by 2020 under less optimistic framework conditions.

The study was commissioned by the German National Platform for Electric Mobility (NPE) and the German Academy of Science and Engineering.

Important external factors of influence to a successful market launch are the price of crude oil and electricity, ISI says (regarding the rising electricity prices in Germany, please see here). Besides these cost factors ISI believes that the range of vehicles offered and the degree of acceptance of this new type of mobility will also be decisive.

The main results of the study are as follows:

    • There are many uncertainties concerning the market launch, since it depends largely on a number of external factors such as the cost price development of batteries, crude oil and electricity.
    • Under optimistic assumptions the joint goal of the German government and NPE Mobility of one million electric cars by 2020 is still reachable even without monetary measures:
    • Under less optimistic framework conditions, a sizable number of electric cars can be brought to Germany’s roads by 2020 (approximately 150,000 to 200,000 electric cars).
    • A high annual mileage, a high amount of which is travelled in electric mode (over 80%) is essential for the efficiency of electric cars. A sizable number of driving profiles meet these criteria.

  • For low annual mileages cars with petrol engines will dominate for cost reasons, for very high mileages diesel engines will mostly be chosen.
  • The market for private sector cars offers potential. Especially employees working full-time and living in rural areas, small and middle-sized towns and cities and suburbs offer high marketing potential for a switch to an electric car. This group accounts for one third of all car owners.

According to ZSW (the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research of Baden-Württemberg) only 8,000 electric cars had been registered in Germany at the beginning of 2013.

Source: Fraunhofer ISI, press release (in English) with links to the study and an abridged version (in German)

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