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E-Mobility Index – Q3 2015


The market share of electric vehicles in the seven leading automotive nations – Germany, France, Italy, the USA, Japan, China and South Korea – remains stubbornly low. Insufficient battery range is a part of the reason, but more importantly there is a lack of specific concepts that can persuade customers to buy an electric car. This is a key finding of the latest E-Mobility Index presented by Roland Berger and Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen (fka) for the third quarter of 2015. The index regularly compares the relative competitive standings of the top seven automotive nations in the electromobility segment based on three indicators: technology, industry and market.

The emission limits in place for the period to 2021 place a double burden on OEMs: To avoid being hit with fines, they need to stay within the limits. A certain proportion of their fleet must be electric for them to achieve this. Yet on the other hand, carmakers are unable to pass on to customers the full extent of the high technological costs incurred in producing these vehicles. OEMs are responding to this dual challenge with a modular system that gives them the medium-term capability to offer electric and hybrid cars in all vehicle classifications.

Besides the lack of a suitable product offering, there are still no convincing concepts that can help OEMs sell electric models. "There's very little, if any, promotion of electric cars going on," said Roland Berger Partner Thomas Schlick. "It's no wonder potential customers are not getting interested in them."

The rental cars business is one area where substantially higher numbers of electric cars could be deployed, and this would have a multiplying effect. Added to that, right now there is no great motivation for dealers to persuade their customers to buy an electric vehicle. They prefer to sell the higher-margin models with many extras. "This is an area where OEMs could stimulate electric car sales by offering added incentives," explained Roland Berger Partner Wolfgang Bernhart. "For instance they could set up a CO2 credits system through which dealers could build up their tradable credits at the start of each year. This type of model would also give the OEMs greater planning security."


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