FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)--German car buyers are less focused on brand names when it comes to purchasing an electric vehicle, but the price they are willing to pay is far below the costs for automakers, according to a survey published Tuesday by the Center for Automotive Management at Duisburg-Essen University.
According to the study, German car buyers are willing to pay up to EUR21,500 for an electric vehicle from an established brand such as VW or BMW. They would spend the same amount on a car of an unknown brand if the range and battery charging time were 20% better.
"One reason for the low willingness to pay results from customers' fear of limited flexibility due to excessive battery charging times and low range. But this is based on a misunderstanding of the customers," Proff said.
She said German drivers on average used their vehicles for distances of 50 miles per trip and the car often was parked for eight or more hours per day. "Hence, the current electric cars would suit most drivers' needs," she said.
"Relatively unknown brands have a unique opportunity to skim a high willingness to pay through rapid technical improvements," said Thomas Martin Fojcik, a research associate at Duisburg-Essen University.