Are electric cars too expensive?
Electric cars are slightly more expensive than comparable vehicles with combustion engines. “However, the increasing variety of models, higher production volumes and far more ambitious market ramp-up scenarios in the automotive industry mean that the much-cited ‘economies of scale’ can be expected in terms of supply and along the lines of ‘quantity up, unit costs down’,” said Lindlahr. “HySolutions has started talks on behalf of the German Ministry of Transport with the leasing industry. We develop forward-looking concepts to significantly increase the efficiency and attractiveness of the offers in terms of price. Leasing rates for e-vehicles in Germany are nowhere near as economical as in Hamburg,” he added. More than 80 per cent of electric cars are leased because technical progress is swift and occurs at relatively short intervals. Thus, long holding periods do not entice users to purchase them. “In the long term, we will have to reach a point when the residual values of leasing e-vehicles are as stable as conventional combustion engine vehicles. The prospects of a secondary market are so lucrative that e-vehicles are expected to retain value in their second life and achieve a high level of residual value stability,” said Lindlahr.
Range: Can I reach my destination easily in an electric car?
“The range has been subject to discussions for a long time, but is no longer an issue. My own car allows me to cover up to 520 km on a full charge thanks to a powerful battery. And it is definitely not a Tesla! The development continues to progress at all manufacturers, so that long distances will not be a problem in future. The imminent switch from lithium-ion technology to solid-state batteries will make a significant contribution because these batteries have a higher physical energy density and achieve significantly higher ranges.”
Charging infrastructure: Are there enough charging points?
“Yes, there are, but there is still an urban-rural divide! The big city of Hamburg presently has 1,000 publicly-accessible charging points, 65 of which are fast-charging stations and receive environment-friendly electricity from Hamburg Energie and are operated by Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH. “This year, we are likely to have well over 300,000 charging processes despite corona. We expect over one million annual charging processes by late 2023. That critical level necessitates swifter expansion of charging stations on private premises and in buildings. “This is where the ELBE (“Electrify Buildings for EVs”) project comes in and targets property companies, project developers and even employers. It really does offer them very attractive subsidies for building and operating charging infrastructure in non-public areas,” Lindlahr stressed.