BOCHUM/FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - According to a study, car manufacturers are doing little to sell new electric cars. In its market study for May, the Bochum-based CAR Institute reports that battery models, which are already significantly more expensive, are offered on average with lower discounts than equivalent combustion engines.

According to the study, the average discount granted for electric cars was only 12.7 percent, while combustion cars were offered with a discount of 16.7 percent on the list price. As recently as March, the discounts were roughly equal. In the spring, many manufacturers had borne the cost of the state purchase premium, which was canceled in December, on their own.

In a random sample of ten popular models in May, the e-cars were on average just under 12,000 euros more expensive than the respective car with a combustion engine. "The market for electric cars in Germany remains in sleep mode. VW's big discount campaign from January to March remains history," summarizes study director Ferdinand Dudenhoffer. The price gap between electric cars and combustion engines has grown in recent months and manufacturers are clearly calling for the sale of cars with conventional drive systems.

Thomas Pekruhn, Vice President of the industry association ZDK, also reports a shift in purchasing incentives. "Many manufacturers have taken the steam out of the electric sector when it comes to discounts and are shifting the premiums back towards combustion engines. They have realized that they can no longer push through the prices that have recently risen sharply there." Pekruhn emphasized: "There is an urgent need to stimulate the sale of electric cars."

Despite a sharp drop in registration figures, the US manufacturer Tesla has also only made subtle changes to its prices, CAR reports. While the list price of several models was reduced by 2,000 euros, it rose by up to 2,500 euros for another. On average, this resulted in a price reduction of 1.2 percent.

Dudenhoffer expects plug-in hybrids to make a comeback in the coming year as manufacturers seek to meet the EU's stricter CO2 fleet limits. There is little hope for an increase in sales of locally emission-free electric cars, says the automotive expert. The scrapping of the environmental bonus at the end of 2023 remains a major mistake by the German government. The requirement was abruptly canceled in the wake of the budget crisis./ceb/DP/he