Electromobility has a lot of catching up to do


IU’s new Mobility Compass shows: Young buyers are not interested in e-cars.

  • Attention to the topics of mobility and environmental protection in transport is increasing, according to the study by IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU).
  • However, e-mobility and e-cars play a lesser role among the younger target group.
  • Audi instead of Tesla: According to the study, those interested prefer German carmakers when buying a new e-car.

Erfurt, 21 October 2021 - The Mobility Compass 2021 survey by IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) shows a growing interest in the topics of mobility and environmental protection - but e-cars play a lesser role. Only 36 percent of the 4,056 IU students surveyed are interested in electric cars, according to the mobility study.

For around 41 percent of the respondents, lower emissions are the most important reason for purchasing an e-car. Government subsidies come in second on the list of advantages, but are only actually important for ten percent of the participants. E-cars remain too expensive for the participants: just under 14 percent name the high purchase costs as the strongest counter-argument for buying an electric car. Compared to the price of a vehicle with a combustion engine, the respondents consider an average surcharge of 2,780 euros to be acceptable. 16 percent criticise the long charging time, making it the second biggest disadvantage. But the biggest shortcoming for most responders (30 percent) is the range: it should be at least 518 kilometres on average.

Buying a new electric car is not a priority for IU students. For the 37 percent of respondents who plan to buy a car in the next few years, petrol-powered vehicles are still in first place by a clear margin (44 percent). Fully electric vehicles are in second-to-last place with 16 percent. But the study shows a trend reversal: For the first time, the purchase of a plug-in hybrid vehicle is more likely this year, at around 19 percent, than the purchase of a diesel vehicle, which just under 17 percent would opt for.

For German carmakers, the IU Mobility Compass 2021 paints a rosy future. If you ask interested parties which car brand they would consider if they were buying a new e-car, German carmakers are at the top of the list: Audi (16 percent), VW (14 percent), Mercedes (12 percent) and BMW (12 percent) are the top four, with Tesla only coming in at fifth place at under six percent.

"Our study this year shows quite clearly: young students are still completely left out when it comes to the topic of environmentally friendly mobility. Environmental protection in transport is important to them, so the market would have great sales potential. But e-cars do not yet meet the requirements of potential young buyers. Manufacturers must now develop sensible marketing and communication strategies to motivate young people who are principally interested and to dispel doubts. Especially with regards to alternative drive systems such as hydrogen cells, this is urgently recommended," says Prof. Dr. Christian Lucas, head of the study as well as professor of general Business Administration and head of the Marketing Management course at IU.

The IU Mobility Compass is an annual survey among IU students on their mobility behaviour. In its second round, 4,056 respondents with an average age of 26 participated in the online survey. The first IU Mobility Compass was published in 2020.



With over 75,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-recognized educational institution brings together more than 200 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes under its roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between on-campus study, dual study, distance learning and flexible combination models and thus shape their studies in a self-determined way. IU began operations in 2000 and is now represented in 28 German cities. It cooperates with over 10,000 companies and actively supports them in employee development. Its partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at: www.iu.de  

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