How do Chinese consumers experience electric mobility in their country? What are the drivers and barriers when buying an electric car in China? Franziska Paßon answered these and other questions in a talk at the Gießen-Friedberg Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Gießen, June 16 – The Gießen-Friedberg Chamber of Industry and Commerce recently held an afternoon session on the topic of developments and market opportunities for electric mobility in China. On this occasion, Franziska Paßon, Project Manager for International Market Research at Spiegel Institut, gave a presentation illustrating experiences in the area of electric mobility in China from a consumer perspective. The talk is based on the results of various studies that Spiegel Institut has carried out in China since 2014. Based on ethnographic in-home interviews, the company gained interesting insights in participants’ lives as well as the use of electric cars in everyday life.

The registration lottery: Are you driving yet or still waiting in line?

For Chinese consumers, it is very difficult to get a permit for their car. In Beijing, for example, there is a lottery in which car registrations are awarded at random. Only those with a little luck are able to drive a car here. In Shanghai, however, registration is very expensive, and few can afford it. To avoid these problems while at the same time promoting e-mobility in the country, the Chinese Government has come up with a clever move.

Drivers and barriers to purchasing an electric car

The government of the People’s Republic has set up a powerful purchasing motivator through lucrative subsidies: If you buy an electric car from a Chinese manufacturer, the purchase is subsidized and registration is automatically issued. Although the Chinese government has thus created an incentive to buy, in reality there is still a lack of sufficient charging stations, which significantly slows the spread of electric mobility. This, in turn, combined with the low range of electric cars has led to dissatisfied customers in the Chinese market. In order for electric mobility in China to grow and meet the requirements of the buyers, not only must the charging infrastructure improve but the entire electric mobility environment must also be optimized. 

Often the topic of electromobility is seen from the business perspective. Franziska Paßon succeeded in presenting the situation from the consumers’ perspective, which captivated her audience until the very end.


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Bettina Weber
Director Spiegel Institut Communication

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(Image source: © nerthuz / Fotolia)

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