Egham, Britain – Interest in electric vehicles (EVs) remains relatively low among German consumers and most current offerings don’t meet their purchase and ownership requirements, according to a new study by Gartner Inc.

The study, conducted in Germany in the first and second quarter of 2011, showed that the majority of German consumers prefer a gasoline-powered vehicle for their next purchase. This was followed by hybrid technology, which saw an increase in consumer interest compared to 2010. Preferences for diesel technology seemed to have peaked, but is still the third-highest technology, followed by natural gas. Only 16 per cent of Germans definitely want to consider an EV in the future, making it the lowest-ranking powertrain option.

Nearly one-fifth of German drivers interested in EVs are not willing to pay a premium price for an electric car versus a comparably-sized vehicle with a traditional powertrain technology, and only eight per cent are willing to pay €8,000 or more. The survey also showed that nearly half of all German consumers considering an EV for their next new-vehicle purchase would require operational cost savings of 30 to 40 per cent compared with a conventional car.

“Although the majority of German consumers continue to see EVs’ benefits in environmental and socioeconomic implications, broad adoption of EVs will remain low as long as current offerings don’t meet drivers’ practical usability and cost-saving requirements,” said Thilo Ksolowski, vice-president at Gartner.

Gartner maintains its 2009 prediction that in industrialized automotive markets, the number of battery-powered vehicles, including plug-in full electric and plug-in hybrids, as a percentage of all vehicles sold will range from 5 to 8 per cent of all vehicle sales by 2020, and from 15 to 20 per cent by 2030.

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