German drivers do not want electric cars because these do not offer the same range as any gasoline car at a competitive price, e-mobility pioneer Günther Schuh says in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung. “For the time being, the customer is not ready to leave his current comfort zone for the societal benefit that e-cars undoubtedly offer,” says Schuh, who has been at the forefront of new electric mobility ventures in Germany with the StreetScooter (in cooperation with Deutsche Post) and the inexpensive electric car e.go. E-cars will never have the same range at the same price as cars with internal combustion engines, Schuh says. “The bulk (of customers) is just not going to pay more for a perceived lower convenience,” he says. Schuh, who is now partnering with automaker Volkswagen, calls for more financial support, better charging infrastructure, lower operating costs through cheaper electricity and a different industry approach to building cars.
German carmakers, long reluctant to embrace the mobility transformation and embroiled in a scandal about cheating on emissions from diesel cars, are all betting on e-mobility now. However, electric cars still only make up a tiny percentage of newly registered vehicles and the German government is struggling to get a transition towards more climate-friendly transportation going.