Hilmar Dunker (Photo: Claus Dick)

The German government is sticking to its goal to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020. But a study by Brunswick University in northern Germany finds that a recently announced 5,000 euro subsidy for private car buyers won't do enough to bring the target in reach. And the researchers concluded that, even a doubling of the subsidy wouldn't do the job.

The most recent attempt to boost EV sales smacks of desperation, both on the side of the government as well as with the nation's carmakers. Everybody jumped on the electric bandwagon far too late and now attempts are being made to conjure up a miracle and save face.

Wouldn't it be much better to focus on the real challenges: building a functioning infrastructure and coming up with a technology suitable for everyday use?

Maybe, just maybe, this whole electric-vehicle bet could still be turned into a success story if both these interlinked success factors can be realized and car drivers understand the benefits.

That would also fit well with Germany's overall plan to achieve a sustainable energy turnaround. But here too, progress has been too slow to inspire great confidence.

-By Hilmar Dunker

(Hilmar Dunker is editor-in-chief of the German-language editions of automotiveIT)