25% of cars will be electric by 2025 – FEV

Consumer preferences for electric vehicles

Next milestone for electromobility – consumer acceptance significantly higher according to FEV Survey

Survey on electromobility; source: FEV Consulting

Aachen, July 2019 – Based on FEV Consulting’s assessment, hybrid and battery-powered electric vehicles will achieve a significant share of the European market – 25 percent in 2025 and over 30 percent in 2030. The underlying factors behind this include not only the wider variety of products, but also rising consumer acceptance of new powertrain technologies. The latest results of the annual consumer survey by FEV Consulting appear to be even more encouraging. Over 80 percent of all European consumers can imagine purchasing a hybrid or all-electric vehicle. Across Europe, 50 percent say they would even prefer a hybrid or battery-powered powertrain system when purchasing their next vehicle. The push for electric among automotive manufacturers is thus proving to be effective. Electromobility has finally entered the consciousness of the general public.

  • In Europe, environmental friendliness (73%), energy efficiency (46%), and access to restricted areas (30%) are seen as the main advantages of electric vehicles
  • As a whole, 23 percent of Europeans are willing to pay a premium for an electric vehicle
  • A charge capacity of around 60kW is needed to meet the needs of European consumers
  • In particular, ecological and social criteria for electric vehicles are viewed more positively than last year

Nearly 90 percent of all respondents in China could imagine buying a hybrid or battery-electric vehicle, while 78 percent would even prefer these options when making their next purchase. These figures are significantly lower in the US, at around 73 percent and 30 percent, respectively. The Chinese are thus particularly open to new powertrain technologies as a whole.

European consumers say that environmental friendliness (73%), energy efficiency (46%), and access to restricted areas (30%) are the main advantages of electric vehicles. In contrast, the high purchase price (50%), the limited choice of vehicle models (39%), and insufficient infrastructure (38%) are the greatest hurdles for purchasing an electric vehicle. The results of the survey are similar in the US and China. However, whereas US consumers also appreciated the positive image of electric vehicles (25%), enthusiasm for new technology (41%) is a major selling point for electric vehicles among the Chinese.

Although the high purchase price is viewed as a major drawback of electric vehicles in all the regions that took part, many respondents are generally willing to pay a premium for electromobility. Whereas just under 8% of the European respondents would pay less for an electric version of their favorite vehicle, 23 percent believe an average premium of EUR 4,600 would be justified. The remaining respondents expect price parity between conventional and electric vehicles.

The survey shows that Europe has the highest expectations when it comes to charging time for battery-powered vehicles: 60 minutes. This is much shorter than the expectations of respondents in the US (120 minutes) and China (90 minutes). In Europe, the ideal range given was a median of 300 km as compared to 322 km in the US and 300 km in China. Among Europeans, German respondents were the most demanding consumer group.  Half of the Germans surveyed would only have their expectations met when electric vehicles can be charged within 30 minutes and travel a median of 500 km.

When compared to the survey results from the previous year, consumer perception of electric vehicles has improved considerably. Ecological and social factors in particular are perceived better than last year. Respondents also report that the regulatory framework has improved – due, in part, to preferential parking options for electric vehicles. The limited charging infrastructure and a lack of options for electric vehicle models continue to hurt perception among consumers, however.

“The main challenge for every company in the automobile supply chain is to offer an attractive product portfolio while also remaining profitable. Understanding exactly what customers expect and demand is crucial to deciding which products to develop and produce and when,” notes FEV Consulting Managing Director Alexander Nase.

A total of 3,300 consumers in Europe, the US, and China took part in the survey by FEV Consulting. Participants were asked a total of 43 questions on various aspects of electromobility. The results were assessed by the country, region (rural, suburban, and urban), preferred vehicle types, and driving habits of the respondents.

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