Compared to the more than 47 million conventional cars in Germany, the number of a good 130,000 electric cars is very small. The practical experience of most people is correspondingly low. The result: assumptions become myths and speculations become apparent knowledge. In addition, electric cars are developing rapidly. What was right yesterday may be out of date today. ZEITONLINE examines five typical theses about driving with electricity.
Compared to the more than 47 million conventional cars in Germany, the number of a good 130,000 electric cars is very small.
The practical experience of most people is correspondingly low.
The result: assumptions become myths and speculations become apparent knowledge.
In addition, electric cars are developing rapidly.
What was right yesterday may be out of date today.
ZEITONLINE examines five typical theses about driving with electricity.
Electric cars are way too expensive
Yes, electric cars have a significantly higher purchase price than conventional vehicles.
This is put into perspective, however, if you include the good equipment on the one hand and government subsidies on the other. Take the Opel Corsa, for example: With the smallest gasoline engine, the price list currently starts at 14,000 euros.
At least 29,000 euros are due for a Corsa-e - a very big difference at first glance.
The Corsa-e, however, has an engine output of 100 kilowatts.
For the comparable Corsa with a 96 kilowatt internal combustion engine and automatic transmission, 23,400 euros are in the brochure.
If you deduct the direct purchase premium of 9,460 euros for the Corsa-enun (with currently 16 percent VAT), 19,600 euros remain.
This makes it cheaper than the combustion model with a similarly powerful engine.
In addition, electric cars are exempt from road tax for ten years and insurance is often cheaper.
For commercial buyers - they make up two thirds and more of new registrations - there is an additional decisive factor that private use does not have to be taxed at one percent of the gross list price per month.
Instead, a quarter of this value is used as the assessment basis.
Ultimately, electric cars are cheap for many applications over a number of years because the state gives a lot of help. However, other drives are also heavily subsidized: The energy tax on diesel fuel is around 18.41 cents per liter lower than on premium petrol - the state loses billions every year.
You have to wait forever to get an electric car
That depends on the vehicle class.
Small cars like the Volkswagen e-up and the Smart fortwo are actually out of stock.
The reason for this lies in the high demand as a result of the innovation bonus.
In the other market segments, however, the delivery times are as long as with conventional vehicles: If a pre-produced car is on the dump, it can be at the customer in a few weeks.
If it has to be re-produced, three to six months are a common measure - for electric cars as well as for combustion engines.
There may be delays in electric cars that are newly introduced.
Volkswagen, for example, has been promoting the ID.3 for years.
However, the modern interpretation of golf has only been available at dealerships since September 11th.
For cars that are new to the market, the waiting time may be a little longer at the beginning.
Many interested parties also find it annoying when a new electric car is specifically announced, but is still a long time coming - as with the Škoda Enyaq.
It can already be configured in all the equipment details and yet it will only be in the salesrooms from January.
E-cars do not mean any progress for the environment
Every transparent, comprehensible and serious study proves the advantage of electric cars in terms of the CO2 balance.
For a correct comparison, one has to use the carbon dioxide emissions from the electric car plus those from battery production.
And in the case of conventional cars with internal combustion engines, in addition to the exhaust gases that are released directly, those from the upstream chain, i.e. from crude oil extraction through ship transport and the refinery to the petrol station, must be taken as a basis.
The Technical University of Eindhoven recently did this with current data.
The result: A Tesla Model 3 drove in the production backpack of the battery after about 30,000 kilometers.
Overall, this electric car emits 65 percent less CO2 than a Mercedes C220d over 250,000 km.
In addition, the steadily increasing share of renewable energies worldwide means that electric cars have the potential to become steadily cleaner.
And when driving, there are no harmful nitrogen oxides or particles such as fine dust from the exhaust pipe.
There is no such thing as a family-friendly electric car
Yes and no.
Station wagons are on the decline worldwide and are being replaced by SUV-like models.
However, families can still get a new Škoda Octavia Combi with a petrol engine for around 20,000 euros.
One thing is clear: there is no comparable electric car for this money.
But something is happening.
To stay with Škoda: The brand from the Volkswagen Group will be selling the electric Enyaq from January.
It is a combi-like SUV, slightly higher because of the batteries, has a trunk with 585 liters of space and costs 33,800 euros in the basic version with a 55 kilowatt-hour battery for a standard range of 340 kilometers.
The so-called innovation bonus of 9,570 euros (at 19 percent VAT) can be deducted from this until further notice.
That leaves 24,230 euros.
The gap to the conventional station wagon is still there, but it is shrinking.
The selection of models with lots of storage space is also increasing: in 2021, several SUVs from the Tesla Model Y to the BMW iX3 to the Volkswagen ID.4 will follow.
There is no trailer coupling
Not quite true.
Yes, there are vehicles whose electric version does not have a trailer coupling, although this is available in the variants with a combustion engine.
The Opel Corsa is an example of this.
The Volkswagen ID.3 also looks lean.
Unlike the Golf, which can move garden trailers or medium-sized caravans even with the basic engine, the trailer hitch in ID.3 (for an extra 380 euros) is only suitable as a base for a bicycle rack.
Conversely, this does not mean that there are basically no electric cars with a train load.
The Volvo Polestar 2, for example, can pull 1.5 tons and the Audi e-tron 1.8 tons.
And if that's not enough for the caravan or sailing boat, a plug-in hybrid like the Mercedes GLE 350 de may help: It can pull 3.5 tons and can drive almost 100 kilometers electrically before the diesel engine starts - but without a trailer load.
That is the reason why many manufacturers do without the coupling: the range suffers considerably when high loads are pulled.