Summer holidays with the e-car: which holidaymakers arrive at their destination and who gets left behind

  • Online marketplace Traum-Ferienwohnungen determines the driving distances of German vacationers in summer 2022 and accessibility by e-car
  • Southern Germans drive the farthest, Frankfurters avoid their surrounding area
  • On average, Germans travel around 560 kilometers by car on vacation

With the summer holidays comes travel chaos: at airports, on trains and on the motorways there are sometimes delays lasting hours. With the goal of having 15 million electric cars on German roads by 2030 and no new combustion cars allowed after 2035, the tourism industry is facing new challenges: How will we travel in the future and where will we still arrive? To give an up-to-date overview of how travelling with e-cars would change our travel behaviour, we analysed over 20,000 holiday trips of our users from the 12 largest cities in Germany. Subsequently, we calculated which holiday destinations would still be accessible by electric car in the future if the possibility of recharging is not available during the peak travel season.
The result is clear: at over 560 kilometres, the average travel distance of Germans is out of reach of the most popular e-cars. For one in five drivers, the destination is out of reach even with a second charge, as they travel more than 800 kilometres. In contrast, 42 percent of travellers can reach their destination within 400 kilometres and thus without recharging. According to the statistics of the KBA, the Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling e-car in Germany and, according to the ADAC practical test, has a range of 429 kilometres in the Long Range version, so a distance of 400 kilometres is feasible. The regional differences in travel behaviour are large depending on the city: while 63 and 61 percent of Bremen and Hamburg residents, respectively, would reach their holiday destination, the figure for Frankfurt residents is only eight percent. Only slightly more would do so in Dresden and Leipzig (19 and 20 per cent respectively). 

In this table you can see how the travel distance differs:

The need is great, as are the demands for a significant expansion: Currently, the charging infrastructure on German motorways and in the entire road traffic network is not yet ready to compensate for a large number of e-cars. This shortcoming is particularly noticeable during the peak travel season, when hundreds of thousands of travellers start their summer holidays at the same time. The number of e-cars is currently growing three times as fast as the expansion of charging points and the gap is widening.

In terms of the 15 most popular destinations per city, the northerners in particular can reach most of their top destinations without having to use a charging station. For the Hamburgers, they arrive at eleven destinations without charging, for the Bremeners it is nine. These include Norddeich, which belongs to the East Frisian town of Norden. Berlin has eight destinations within easy reach of the German capital, including Kühlungsborn in Mecklenburg. The top five are completed by Dortmund (seven destinations), Düsseldorf and Essen (six destinations each).
Saxony, on the other hand, looks rather poor: With only four accessible destinations each, Leipzig and Dresden bring up the rear in the comparison. This is mainly due to the fact that destinations in the south, such as Lake Garda, the Zillertal valley or the Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, are too far away despite a full load. Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart residents can reach five holiday destinations each without having to reload.

Here you can find out where city dwellers prefer to go:

The car is one of the most popular means of transport for going on holiday. Germans travel an average distance of 561 kilometres to reach their destination. In a comparison of cities, Bremen residents travel the shortest distance (496 kilometres), followed by Berliners (527 kilometres). Essen residents travel an average of 528 kilometres to get to their holiday destination. The people of Stuttgart travel much longer: with 668 kilometres, the Swabians travel the farthest on holiday and are thus 19 per cent above the national average. The people of Munich and Frankfurt also travel a long distance (638 kilometres), and the Dresdeners travel a similar distance (604 kilometres).

An overview of the top 3 destinations per city can be found in this map:

About the study
For the analysis, around 20,250 bookings in the travel period of the German summer holidays 2022 were evaluated (as of 16.6.2022). In order to calculate the respective distance, the twelve largest cities in Germany as well as their top 15 travel destinations in summer 2022 were determined via Traum-Ferienwohnungen. The classic air travel destinations were not taken into account. For the distance, the distance from the starting point to the destination was calculated, which has to be covered by car. To calculate the distance by e-car, the three best-selling models suitable for long distances in 2021 according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority were used and the range determined by the ADAC in the practical test was taken into account. Drivers who have a remaining range of at least 15 kilometres at their destination arrived.