If electric cars once seemed like the inevitable solution for a more sustainable future, now the first problems are clearly emerging.

Electric cars continue to be at the center of public debate, between great expectations for the future and equally great doubts for the present. While on the one hand many companies have started a slow but decisive transition towards the production of electric vehicles, on the other hand consumers still seem to have many doubts about the convenience of purchasing this type of vehicle.

Electric cars have been considered the future of the sector for years, but now they seem to be in crisis – Sjbeez

To date, despite their growing popularity, electric vehicles are at the center of great concerns, which generally reflect the current limitations of the technology and the challenges of an infrastructure that is still evolving. One of the biggest fears is the limited autonomy of the batteries, as is the current coverage of charging stations, which remains insufficient in many areas. These and many other factors have led to increased concerns about their future.

Just a few years ago, the automotive industry seemed convinced that the future was electric. However, a recent analysis of the German market reveals a different reality. A dramatic 58% drop in electric car sales in December 2023 signals an unexpected trend: interest in internal combustion cars, both petrol and diesel, is on the rise again.

Worrying signs for the electric car market

This change in preferences is not an isolated case. A survey carried out by Deloitte, the Global Automotive Consumer Study 2024, revealed that only 13% of Germans would currently opt for an electric car, compared to 14% the previous year. In contrast, interest in thermal cars rose from 45% to 49% year-on-year.

There are many concerns about the real convenience of buying an electric car today – Sjbeez

The factor that seems to play a crucial role in this transition is price. Most German consumers prefer vehicles under 30,000 euros, a price range that electric cars struggle to fit into. 55% of respondents indicated this figure as the upper limit for purchasing a new vehicle.

The data emerged with unprecedented clarity especially after the German government confirmed the end of government incentives for electric cars, a factor which had a notable impact on this trend. This decision made battery-powered cars less accessible and, consequently, less attractive to the average consumer.

Looking ahead, Deloitte’s Harald Proff suggests the eco-car market could suffer further declines. Forecasts for 2030 speak of “only” 10 million electric cars in circulation in Germany, well below the 15 million expected by the federal government.