Electric cars have been among the highlights of the IAA motorshow in Frankfurt which opened last week. New models include the BMW’s i3.
But despite the technology being around for a while, electric car sales are yet to take off in Germany, the Süddeutsche newspaper reported on Tuesday.
With 3,000 models sold this year, the country is less than 0.2 percent of the way to achieving its target of one million vehicle sales by 2020.
And a study by research institute ISI which will be presented at the IAA on Tuesday believes the success of electric cars is hugely dependent on energy prices.
Researchers argue that the best scenario for electric cars is for the price of batteries and energy to decrease, while diesel and petrol gets more expensive.
But if energy prices and battery costs do not fall the study believes Germany will be a long way short of its target, with consumers buying no more than 200,000 electric cars, author Martin Wietschel said.
Sceptics view electric cars as being far too expensive and of limited use as they have less range than a conventional car – having to be recharged at special points.
Henning Kagermann, head of a government department which looks at electric vehicles within the Ministry of the Environment, told the Süddeutsche newspaper that carmakers may need help from the state to realize the electric car dream, even though the German car industry is making multi-billion euro profits.