Soaring energy costs are threatening the future of the electric car, industry bosses in Germany have warned, media reports said.
A rise in electricity prices as well as in raw material costs and availability, a chronic shortage of parts, and a widespread reduction in disposable income are having a considerable impact on the production and sales of cars, The Guardian reported.
If the trend continues, there is also concern that there will be a knock-on effect on investors who will lack incentives to build charging facilities, making electric cars less attractive because they would be more impractical to run, it said.
Until recently ownership of electric cars had been gaining in attractiveness as the cost of petrol rose. But since recent rises in electricity prices in Germany of around a third compared with a year ago the price differential has shrunk.
Electric car owners, whether charging their cars at home or through contracts with charging operators, have seen price rises of 10 per cent or more. Further price rises are expected, owing to the fact that the price of electricity is linked to that of gas, which has become ever scarcer since Russia turned off its gas supplies to Germany almost two weeks ago.
Allego, one of Germany’s largest charging station operators, raised its prices at the start of this month from 43 cents a kilowatt hour to 47 cents. Express charging, via a continuous current, has risen from 65 to 70 cents a kilowatt hour while the fastest, so-called ultra-fast charging, has gone up from 68 cents to 75 cents a kilowatt hour.
Discount supermarkets, DIY chains and furniture stores which had until recently offered customers free charging while they shopped are now introducing charges, The Guardian reported.
According to the automobile economist Stefan Bratzel, the development is an immediate threat to the industry.
“The electricity price explosion could end up being an acute danger for vehicle transition, and we need to be damn careful about it,” he told German media.