Study reveals why electromobility lags behind expectations

September 10, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Has electromobility arrived in everyday live? Or better: Why is this not the case? Researchers of the Frankfurt University of Applied Science have questioned users of electric vehicles.

Though the poll was conducted exclusively among German users, the results provide interesting insights into how e-cars are used and why are the great break-through is still some time away.

Despite significant technological progress, the registration figures for electric vehicles stagnated at a low level, explains Dr.-Ing Petra K. Schaefer, manager of the specialized group New Mobility at the Frankfurt University of Applied Science. The most striking reasons for this lack of acceptance are the "infrastructural challenges", as Schaefer puts it. Other obstacles include high prices and a lack of perception in every day life.

Schaefer's research group polled 313 users of e-cars. 72% said they bought the electric vehicle exclusively for business rides. Almost 25% said they intended to use the vehicle daily. Since the daily traffic performance 75% of the persons polled was less than 100 km and 50% drove less than 80 km per day, the driving range was not an issue. A majority of the persons polled said they would not be ready to spend more money for an electric car than for a conventional one, only 38% would accept an additional charge at all.

Important aspects considered before the purchase of an electric car were, besides acquisition costs and range, the parking and charging facilities at home and at work. 66% of the e-car owners had a parking facility at their homes, but only 24% offered a means to recharge the battery. After all, more than 50% of the owner had a charging station at their work.

Schaefer comments that electromobility can increase the quality of living in urban areas if it is an integral part of innovative mobility and urban development concepts. "Our poll and additional materials however prove that there is a lack of holistic concepts that could be used by local authorities as strategic planning aid. As a consequence, Schaefer questioned that the acceptance of electric cars will reach the numbers predicted.