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E-mobility index for Q1 2013

Despite mature technology and better cost structures, production forecasts for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are gloomy. That is the conclusion of the latest E-mobility Index by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen (fka) for Q1 2013. The index compares the competitive positions of the seven leading car-manufacturing nations (Germany, France, Italy, US, Japan, China and South Korea) in the field of e-mobility. Technology, industry and market are analyzed in detail.

The index shows that making EVs is still financially unappealing for OEMs. "OEMs earn much lower margins on the sale of EVs than on regular cars," says Wolfgang Bernhart, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "The total cost of ownership of EVs over their useful life is much higher than for conventional vehicles."

The resulting extra cost of making electric and hybrid vehicles dissuades OEMs from mass-producing them. This is a problem that will hit the e-mobility market even harder if further US fracking projects go ahead. "Extracting oil by fracking could stabilize the oil price over the next few years, " says Roland Berger Partner Thomas Schlick. "This would make the cost disadvantage for alternative drives even worse."

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