Study says German manufacturers not marketing electric cars well

FRANKFURT: According to a study by a German auto-industry think-tank, car manufacturers are doing little to sell new electric cars.

In its market study for May, the Bochum-based CAR Institute reports that battery models, which are already significantly more expensive, are offered with lower discounts on average than equivalent combustion engines.

The study showed that the average discount granted for electric cars was only 12.7%, while combustion cars were offered with a discount of 16.7% on the list price.

As recently as March, the discounts were roughly equal.

In spring, many manufacturers had borne the cost of the state purchase premium, which was cancelled in December, on their own.

In a random sample of 10 popular models in May, the e-cars were on average just under €12,000 more expensive than the respective car with a combustion engine.

"The market for electric cars in Germany remains in sleep mode. VW's big discount campaign from January to March remains history," summarizes study director Ferdinand Dudenhöffer.

The price gap between electric cars and combustion engines has grown in recent months and manufacturers are clearly promoting the sale of cars with conventional drive systems.

Thomas Pekruhn, Vice President of the industry association ZDK, also reports a shift in purchasing incentives.

"Many manufacturers have run out of steam in terms of offering discounts out of the electric sector and are shifting the premiums back towards combustion engines. They have realized that they can no longer push the high electric car prices, which have recently risen sharply."

Pekruhn said: "There is an urgent need to stimulate the sale of electric cars."

Despite a sharp drop in registration figures, the US manufacturer Tesla has also only made subtle changes to its prices, CAR reports.

While the list price of several models was reduced by €2,000, it rose by up to €2,500 for another. On average, this resulted in a price reduction of 1.2%.

Dudenhöffer expects plug-in hybrids to make a comeback in the coming year as manufacturers seek to fulfil the EU's stricter fleet CO2 limits. There is little hope for an increase in sales of locally emission-free electric cars, says the automotive expert.

The cancellation of the environmental bonus at the end of 2023 remains a major mistake by the German government, he said. The subsidy was abruptly cancelled in the wake of the German budget crisis.
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