Buying a car: diesel less in demand, electric on the rise

Buying a car: diesel less in demand, electric on the rise-rise

Despite the turnaround in mobility and traffic, the car on German roads is far from being an obsolete model, on the contrary: in the last 10 years, the number of cars in Germany has increased by approx. 6 million vehicles increased (to approx. 48 million pieces in 2021). The average growth during this period was 1.3%. The corona pandemic in particular has made public transport less attractive and has driven people back into their cars. On the other hand, the trend towards electric cars is unmistakable: every third new car buyer in Germany is considering buying an electric car, as the current results of OpinionTRAIN 2021 show. This long-term study carried out by exeo Strategic Consulting AG and Rogator AG examines planned new car purchases and the preferences for drive types and vehicle types. “Whereas for decades diesel technology was presented as a particularly economical and fuel-efficient form of car use, especially over longer distances, public opinion has changed not least because of the diesel scandal and the particulate matter debate. Diesel is bad, electric is good, is the tenor”, summarizes Johannes Hercher, CEO of Rogator AG and co-author of the study.

Despite the Corona crisis, citizens are not letting the desire for a new car be taken away. If savings are otherwise made in consumption, 23% of the German study participants state that they want to treat themselves to a new car within the next two years. In Austria and Switzerland it is even 28%. It is probably not due to the available money, especially younger consumers (< 30 years) show a significantly higher intention to buy in all three countries than the age group 60+, so the car is still important for younger people too.

In Germany, 36% of those who stated that they intend to buy within the next two years can imagine buying a vehicle with a hybrid drive, and 34% are already considering buying an electric car. In first place is the petrol engine (49% consideration), the diesel engine is at 23%. A change can be seen here compared to the study from 2020: in the preliminary study, the diesel drive was in third place after the petrol and hybrid engines, the electric car in 2021 has displaced the diesel from third place. The reason for this is the sharply increasing range of different models with electric drive as well as economies of scale and cost reduction potentials, and thus lower sales prices. At the same time, the charging infrastructure is noticeably improved, which creates acceptance among potential buyers. In Austria, on the other hand, with a 43% consideration rate, the diesel drive is even number 1 of the drive types, especially among car users with high annual mileage over the age of 20.000 kilometers. In this area, the electric motor is losing a lot of acceptance. Overall, however, only 12% drive more than 20 in Austria.000 kilometers per year and the proportion has decreased by 4% since 2018 – also due to Corona. On the other hand, 34% of Austrians are considering buying an electric car. In Switzerland, 49% consider petrol engines the most, while 35% can imagine buying an electric car. It is striking that in Germany, at 19%, almost three times as many prospective buyers are considering buying a hydrogen-powered vehicle as in neighboring countries, despite the high prices and the low availability of suitable models. In Austria it is only 7%, just as few in Switzerland (6%).

Anyone who is interested in an electric car is strongly driven by ecological and climate aspects (55% of people considering electric drive), while purchase premiums play only a minor role. Those not considering electric drive mainly criticize the high price (24% of those not considering electric drive) and the limited charging options (17%). There are also reservations about the technology, such as the ecological balance or scarcity of raw materials (15%). However, the limited range no longer seems to be a particular obstacle (9%). Study co-author Prof. dr. Overall, Andreas Kramer, CEO of exeo Strategic Consulting AG, assumes that “in the near future, larger quantities and improved battery technologies will lead to a reduction in consumer reservations with regard to purchase prices, charging options and range.”

Simultaneously with the growing desire for electrified drives, the trend in Germany is still towards SUVs: this model shape is at the top with 35% consideration, just ahead of sedans (34%) and small cars (33%). It is striking that the SUV is particularly popular in cities with more than 500.000 inhabitants is particularly popular (39%), while in the countryside (< 10.000 inhabitants) is hardly in demand (29%). In Switzerland, the SUV also dominates at 35%, just ahead of the small car (34%). The Austrians, on the other hand, love small cars, they are at the top with 38%, followed by the SUV (36%) in second place.

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4 thoughts on “Buying a car: diesel less in demand, electric on the rise”

  1. Quote: “It is striking that the SUV is particularly popular in cities with more than 500.000 inhabitants is particularly popular (39%), while in the countryside (< 10.000 inhabitants) is hardly in demand (29%)”

    Well, the mums need it for the trip to daycare or school, so that the little ones aren’t left out because the other helicopter parents are setting the route…

  2. I would be interested to see what the used car market looks like.
    Due to the lack of chips and delivery times, many people are increasingly buying used cars.

    It even goes so far that I now have approx. 5.000€ more than at the beginning of 2020.

  3. I drive 35.000km a year and regularly 600km one-way trips with my Model 3 and don’t see any problem there even 000km a year. Only the sales force faction at 80.000km+ a year still see critical.

  4. I would like to link this video here..

    Climate-neutral Germany in 2045: How the energy transition will succeed

    Germany lives and operates in a climate-neutral manner. In 2045 the energy transition is implemented. Renewables cover the entire energy requirement: for our mobility, for our heat and also for the energy in our companies. Any day of the year and in any weather.

    Video >> (16:15 mins)

    … so that even people with little foresight can imagine the energy transition.


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