Germany gives thumbs up to EVs

A new survey has found that 10 percent of German adults are considering an electric car for their next vehicle purchase, suggesting that Europe's largest car market could help drive adoption of EV technology.

The survey, conducted by consumer analyst GfK, suggests that with regard to those planning to purchase within the next two years, 823,000 electric vehicles could be sold in Germany - were many available on the market.

The research also found that the primary use of the car would be for in-city shopping trips, meaning that a range of up to 400km and a maximum speed of 150 km per hour are sufficient to win the approval of the majority of those interested.

The propensity to buy an electric car isn't affected by age, but does rise with the level of education and net household income, said GfK, with the majority of respondents willing to pay a €1000 premium for going electric.

GfK surveyed 6,199 adults aged over 18 and over with an internet connection, making it one of the largest surveys of its type.

A similar but smaller Consumer Reports survey conducted earlier this year in the United States suggested that 26 percent of consumers are likely to consider a plug-in electric car the next time they are in the market for a new vehicle.

In June, Ernst and Young's Global Automotive Center found that over 25 percent of drivers surveyed across US, Europe, China and Japan said they would likely consider purchasing a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle as soon as they become available on the market.

The consultancy also warned that its predicted early adopter group of approximately 50 million drivers around the world would "be more than enough demand to sell out the estimated 2010 and 2011 production runs of the major and new vehicle manufacturers."

It prediction appears to have been borne out by the response to the Nissan LEAF in America - Nissan's 2010 US allotment for the vehicle sold out six months ahead of its actual launch.