Surprise! Germans More Skeptical than Most Europeans about Electromobility

Only seven percent of Germans believe there will be more electric vehicles than petrol or diesel cars on German roads in the next five years. Populations of other European countries, however, are notably more optimistic

In a Europe-wide comparison, Germany boasts the highest number of skeptics regarding the new age of mobility. Nearly one-third of Germans believe there will never be more electric vehicles than petrol or diesel cars on our roads. Perhaps that’s not as surprising as it sounds. coming from the country with the world’s biggest and most advanced diesel vehicle manufacturers. In fact, it was Germany’s auto lobby that has been widely blamed for the country dragging its feet on tougher emission regulations. 

In a survey conducted by E.on, one of the world’s largest electric utility companies, and KantarEMNID, it was revealed that only seven percent of people surveyed in Germany could envision a shift in the next 5 years in which there would be more electric vehicles than petrol/diesel cars on the roads. And only 13 percent in the next 10 years.

“The results are surprising primarily because huge progress has been made over the last few years and is still being made in terms of both charging infrastructure and the diversity, maximum range and price of the vehicles on offer. According to information from the German National Platform for Electromobility, the number of models is set to triple by 2020. Likewise, the expansion of charging infrastructure is also progressing rapidly: Data from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) reveals that there were more than 16,000 charging points in Germany at the end of 2018. More than 6,000 – and therefore more than a third of all these charging points – can be used by E.ON Drive customers for charging their vehicles,” the company released in a statement.

However, in southern Europe in particular, people are much more optimistic about the breakthrough in electromobility. 43 percent of the people surveyed in Turkey were convinced that there will be more electric vehicles on the roads than petrol and diesel cars within the next ten years, while in Italy, 37 percent expect that to be the case. 

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Meanwhile, the most negative views on the timeline for the new age of mobility can be found in Eastern Europe. In the Czech Republic, only 15 percent of those questioned expect to see a breakthrough in electromobility in the next ten years, while in Hungary the figure is just 14 percent.

Karsten Wildberger, a member of E.ON’s management board, emphasises: “In order to achieve the ambitious goals associated with the energy transition, a holistic approach is required for e-mobility. With its technical and network competency, the energy industry has a key role to play here. Combined with innovative offers from the automotive industry and government start-up support, we can turn Germany into a driving force in this arena.

The survey results are part of the “Living in Europe” study, for which E.ON and Kantar EMNID questioned around 10,000 people in the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Sweden, Turkey and the UK. Norway, the European country with the highest penetration of electric vehicles, at over 30% now is a notable absence from the survey of course. 

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a correspondent at and writes on renewable energy and sustainability. As an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he also works as a staff writer for

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