A Million Electric Cars in Germany by 2020 Achievable, Says Volkswagen
Although electric cars have come a long way and are much more popular and commonplace than they used to be, with global sales growing strong for a few years now, they haven’t reached their full potential, and various countries across the world are setting new goals with regard to the number of electric vehicles they would like to see on their roads. That’s the case with Germany, one of the world’s largest car markets, where the government hopes to have a million electric vehicles on the roads by 2020. This is a very ambitious goal, and the target can only be achieved if everyone, including car makers, consumers and the government itself give their contribution.
A million electric cars on Germany’s roads by 2020 seems like a very tough target to hit, but Volkswagen begs to differ. They believes that it can be easily achieved, and are ready to help. However, they say that hybrids will have to be taken into account, in addition to fully-electric cars. While the company has been increasing the fuel efficiency of its diesel-powered cars, it hasn’t been paying too much attention to developing electric vehicle technology.
But this is about to change, as Volkswagen intends to launch many hybrid and electric models within the next few years. In fact, three alternative fuel vehicles (the e-Golf, the e-Up, and the XL1 plug-in hybrid) have already went into production, and they plan to launch about 40 new models in the future, as the electric and plug-in hybrid market grows. Volkswagen will focus on hybrid vehicles, as they believe they have the highest market potential, but won’t forget about electric cars, either.
One of the biggest challenges Volkswagen will face while trying to achieve this goal, is convincing consumers that they shouldn’t worry about the limited range of electric cars. Range anxiety, along with high purchase prices, has been the main reason why electric car sales are not even stronger than they are at the moment. American and Japan car makers are already addressing that issue, with General Motors improving the range of the Chevrolet Volt, much like what Nissan has done with the Leaf.
As far as price is concerned, the e-Up costs about $37,000, which is more expensive than the Leaf and the Volt, that are among the world’s best-selling electric vehicles, so if they want to stay competitive, they will have to bring the price down somehow.
In addition to Volkswagen, another German car maker, BMW, is determined to help increase electric and hybrid sales in Germany. They have already introduced the all-electric i3, and will soon start to offer the X5 plug-in hybrid SUV. However, BMW are aware that hitting the 1 million cars by 2020 target will be extremely difficult, and say that the government will have to contribute much more than it has been so far.
One of the reasons why the alternative fuel vehicle market in Germany, and the European Union, is not growing as strong as it is in the United States and Japan, is that car makers there are not getting enough incentives that would encourage them to make more green vehicles. If the European Union starts doing something about that soon, the goal that the German government has set will sound much more realistic and achievable.
Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “green cars” specialist. He is a writer for DMV.com, which is a collaborative community designed to help ease the stress and annoyance of “dealing with the DMV”.