Extreme weather events damage important infrastructure, low water levels make waterways impassable, regulatory requirements lead to increased pricing of CO2 emissions and alternative propulsion systems such as fuels are increasingly coming into focus: climate change is having an increasing impact on the business models of the transport and logistics industry.
Many countries are currently providing high financial incentives for the purchase of electric cars to boost sales of electric vehicles. Besides this, the low operating costs are being advertised. But this promised long-term advantage of electric vehicles is threatening to melt away.
Only a few years ago it was impossible to get a van with an electric drive. This year, however, the offer has exploded. There are also good reasons for companies to take a look at the new silent electric transporters, which offer various cost advantages
Europeans are open to different types of drive. At the same time, 70 per cent of respondents would also like to see a purchase premium for internal combustion engines and 57 per cent would like to see e-fuels promoted.
Whether electric car with battery or fuel cell, petrol or diesel – according to a representative Bosch survey in four European countries, conducted in June 2020 by the market research institute Innofact, all types of drive remain relevant. If they had to decide on a new car tomorrow, half of the more than 2,500 respondents in Germany, France, Italy and the UK would still choose a pure combustion engine for their first car and around a third for their second car. However, when asked about the most-used drive system in 2030, around 68 per cent of those surveyed in Europe believe that electric drives will be the most popular, ahead of hybrids and internal combustion engines. Potential is attributed to electric driving with the fuel cell. About one in three see it as the technology for the mobility of the future. “Electric mobility is coming – that is a good thing. Bosch is investing 500 million euros in this area this year alone. At the same time, we are also constantly developing the combustion engine because it is still needed,” says Stefan Hartung, member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH and chairman of the Mobility Solutions division.
Purchase premiums desired for all types of drives
The respondents’ openness to different types of drive systems is also evident in another issue: when asked whether they are in favour of purchase premiums for vehicles that run exclusively on internal combustion engines, in addition to the state subsidies often granted for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, 70 per cent of the Europeans surveyed said yes. Approval of a state subsidy for the purchase of a car with conventional drive is highest in Italy (83 per cent) and lowest in the UK (60 per cent). In France, 77 per cent are in favour, in Germany 62 per cent. Just under a third of Europeans would even like to see a subsidy of at least 9,000 euros. This corresponds to the current maximum subsidy for electric cars in Germany. Two things are interesting: first, 72 per cent of the city dwellers in the four European countries surveyed consider the combustion engine worthy of support. Secondly, a majority (80 per cent) of the 18 to the 29-year-old age group is also in favour of a combustion engine bonus.
Achieving climate targets with e-fuels
Even cars with conventional engines can be driven climate-neutrally. The key to this is synthetic fuel, the so-called E-Fuels – these are produced from renewable hydrogen and with CO2 from the ambient air. On average, 57 per cent of the participants in the Bosch survey agree with the statement that the policy should promote e-fuels through taxes. “If we want to achieve the climate targets, we cannot avoid e-fuels,” says Hartung. “Only with synthetic fuels can the more than one billion vehicles already on the roads worldwide contribute to climate protection”.
Europeans do not want to do without their own cars
The role of the car and its importance for mobility in Europe will not change so quickly. Around 60 per cent of those surveyed in Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain cannot imagine doing without a car. And the clear majority of the remaining 40 per cent or so are only prepared to do without a car in part at best. In rural Europe, the approval rate for a car is 77 per cent. By the way, the same applies to the generation of 18 to 29-year-olds, about half of whom also give a clear vote for a car.
While all respondents in Germany (61 per cent) and Great Britain (47 per cent) cited high flexibility as the most important reason for a car, the French (41 per cent) need it above all for work. In contrast, the Italians surveyed (55 per cent) prefer the car to others, for the more cumbersome forms of mobility.
Juice Technology, a manufacturer of charging stations and software and one of the leading suppliers of mobile chargers for electric cars, recently conducted an online survey among electric car drivers […]
According to a media report, only a few electric cars are suitable as pulling vehicles for pulling a caravan or heavy trailer. As Auto, Motor und Sport (AMS) reports, only a few manufacturers offer a towbar. Many manufacturers also do not mention permissible axle load
At the beginning of October, we were already able to report that France will again reduce the subsidy amount for the purchase of electric cars. From the current 7,000 to 6,000 euros from 2021, and then to 5,000 euros from 2022. The subsidy for plug-in hybrids will fall from 2,000 to 1,000 euros from 2021. But France does not only want to cut premiums in the future, it even wants to issue new ones. According to Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, a new subsidy of 1,000 euros is planned. This is to come into effect if one wants to buy a used, purely electric car.
As planned, France will soon reduce the amount of support for the purchase of electric cars again. From the current 7000 to 6000 euros from 2021, and then to 5000 euros from 2022. The subsidy for plug-in hybrids will be reduced from 2000 to 1000 euros from 2021. France will only pay the premium at this level for cars costing less than 45,000 euros. The separate subsidy for low-income households of 3000 euros will be maintained for the time being.
A recent report from the computer and analysis company YouGov  has examined European consumers’ perceptions and attitudes about different powertrains in passenger cars (petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric cars). The report is based on responses from 11,400 consumers in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.