Among the major German cities, the residents of Stuttgart, Munster, Bielefeld and Munich are particularly likely to drive electrically. Pure electric cars make up a particularly large proportion of private cars there, as an evaluation of current figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority shows. Overall, however, the 26 cities with more than a quarter of a million inhabitants fare significantly worse than the national average when it comes to private cars.

On January 1, there were almost 594,000 purely electric cars registered to private owners in Germany. That is 1.37 percent of the 42 million private cars. Of the 26 largest German cities, only four have a higher rate: Stuttgart with 1.83 percent, Münster with 1.56, Bielefeld with 1.50 and Munich with 1.42. Wiesbaden is also on par.

Seven major cities do not even have a share of pure electric vehicles of one percent. The lowest rates are found in Dresden with 0.72 percent, Gelsenkirchen (0.82), Leipzig (0.84), Duisburg (0.86) and Bremen with 0.89 percent. Even Augsburg with 0.91 percent and Cologne with 0.99 do not reach the one in front of the decimal point. Calculated across all major German cities, the proportion of pure electric vehicles among private cars is 1.17 percent. That is a good seventh less than the national average.

The problem? Charging stations are missing

“In the cities, many people simply lack their own charging facilities,” says industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, explaining the lower rates. This is especially true in inner-city areas. And even where there are public charging stations, they are often more expensive than household electricity from your own wall box. That makes Stromer even less attractive for city dwellers.

“Electric cars would be particularly valuable in cities in order to reduce air pollution,” says Dudenhöffer. A more targeted promotion of the construction of charging stations in the cities and, if necessary, also subsidized electricity there could help here.

Dudenhöffer explains the relatively higher rates in Stuttgart or Munich by saying that these are “car cities”. “Some of the manufacturer’s employees should have a good charging facility at work – that makes electric cars more attractive again.”

However, if you count not only private cars but also cars registered to commercial owners, the picture changes. Then Wiesbaden is ahead of Frankfurt am Main, Stuttgart and Munich – all with much higher rates – and all of the big cities are also above the national average. However, approvals for companies that are sometimes not even in use at the location of their approval can distort the statistics.