Friday, December 3

Results of the mobility study: There is a winner of the crisis

China’s Number One New Auto Country: Large Study: How the Pandemic Really Changed Mobility

Change from car to bus and train?  In many cities this is not that easy

Fig. 1/7 – Change from car to bus and train? In many cities this is not that easy

Mobility behavior according to means of transport

Figure 2/7 – Mobility behavior by means of transport

How has the pandemic changed attitudes towards mobility in the medium term?

Fig. 3/7 – How has the pandemic changed the medium-term attitude to mobility?

Can you imagine driving a fully electric car in the future?

Fig. 4/7 – Can you imagine driving a fully electric car in the future?

Can you imagine driving a fully electric car in the future?

Fig. 5/7 – Can you imagine driving a fully electric car in the future?

New mobility concepts

Fig. 6/7 – New mobility concepts

Elektromobiliät - reasons against

Image 7/7 – Electromobility – reasons against


He is one of the few who is coming out of the corona pandemic much stronger: Individual traffic. In order to minimize contact with others, many have switched back to bicycles or cars instead of using public transport.

In the course of the lockdowns as a political reaction to the corona pandemic, most people stay more within their own four walls. If they do leave the house, many more resort to their own bike or car. The reason for this is quite simple: avoid contact. It follows: The use of public transport is falling and private transport is increasing. That is one of the results of the Continental Mobility Study 2020.

The technology company has been conducting this study regularly since 2011. People from five countries on three continents are surveyed: China, Japan, America, France and Germany. The omnipresent topic of “Corona” was behind this year’s study. But electromobility was also a key issue.

Winner of the crisis: car and bicycle

Due to the pandemic, the car is being used more often again. According to the Continental study, China is at the top. Almost half of the respondents stated that they are now using the car more again. In Germany there weren’t quite that many – but at least 25 percent of those surveyed.

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The trend is increasingly moving towards cars and away from public transport .:

  • Half of the German respondents stated that that they would now use public transport less.
  • In China and Japan it is even more than half.
  • The important question, however, is whether this trend will continue also stabilized or subsided again in a time after Corona? Between six and fifteen percent of those surveyed said they had bought a car or were planning to do so – this indicates a medium to long-term decision.

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E-car – the car of the future?

If a new car, why not an electric car? Around a third of the German respondents could imagine buying an electric vehicle. Almost twice as many as in 2013. The flip side of the coin, however, is that the majority of Germans cannot yet imagine that.

The situation is similar for the respondents in the other countries. In the USA and France, around half of those surveyed do not see themselves in an electric car. There is one exception, however: China. Only around 12 percent of those surveyed by Continental could not imagine buying an electric car.

What is it?

The most common reason that most people speak against electric cars is fear of range. In addition, drivers fear:

  • the need for preliminary planning
  • longer breaks while the vehicle is charging
  • missing charging stations
  • the high price

Electric cars still need many requirements

Incidentally, the latter is far behind the other reasons that speak against an electric car, according to the Germans surveyed. The lack of charging stations is a major negative point in four of the five countries surveyed. And the governments of all countries surveyed are trying to make buying electric vehicles particularly attractive at the moment – all five countries currently have purchase premiums.

But it’s not just technological or financial reasons that prevent buying. Some Germans also seem to doubt whether the Stromer is actually as good for the environment as everyone claims. A quarter of the French surveyed would also decide against an electric car because of this aspect. The situation in the other three countries is completely different: in the USA, Japan and China, only one to eleven percent doubt the environmental friendliness of electric vehicles.

China – der Pusher?

There are a number of issues that need to be resolved before the electric vehicle market becomes a mass market. So how do you proceed from the manufacturer’s point of view? Should the infrastructure be expanded even though it is not yet needed to this extent? Or should the expansion of the infrastructure be based on the development of the registration numbers? Lately, many manufacturers have opted for the former; according to Continental, China could now take a major, sustainable step towards electromobility because:

  • For years, China has been a key sales market for automobile manufacturers from all over the world
  • Mobility adaptation is high: almost 60 percent of those surveyed stated that they had bought a car or had thought about it
  • In no other country is the openness to electric cars as great as in China: 86 percent of those surveyed could imagine buying an electric car

Continental concludes from this that the combination of enthusiasm for owning a vehicle and the fact that the Chinese population is more open to electric cars than other countries could give electric mobility a boost in the future.

There is no combustion ban in China

However, the Chinese car market is so big that – also due to infrastructure limitations – relying solely on e-mobility would probably not work there. “We do not want to stall gasoline vehicles, as happens in some countries,” said Chinese official Wang Binggang in an interview according to “Automotive News”. One is against setting an end date for combustion engines, instead one wants to “actively promote” the development of modern gasoline engines with hybrid technology. At the same time, goals for the expansion of e-mobility are basically adhered to, but makes them more flexible: In 2025, the proportion of “New Energy Vehicles” (electric cars with batteries, electrically operated hydrogen cars and plug-in hybrids) should be 15 to 25 percent. By 2035, China wants to have every second car – 50 to 60 percent – with an electric or rechargeable hybrid drive on the streets.

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