Europeans Embrace E-Mobility: Large Survey Reveals Positive Attitude Towards Electric Cars

A recent large-scale survey conducted by the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) has revealed a positive attitude towards the adoption of battery-electric cars among Europeans. The survey, which included over 19,000 respondents from twelve EU Member States, indicated that despite the hurdle of price, 57% of non-electric car drivers are considering purchasing an electric car in the future.

The European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy have set an ambitious goal for the EU to cut transport greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050. The rapid adoption of zero-emission vehicles will play a crucial role in achieving this target, and battery-electric vehicles are now a mature mass-market technology. However, the take-up of these vehicles and the maturity of markets vary significantly among Member States, each facing similar yet distinct challenges. A comprehensive understanding of consumer attitudes and preferences is essential to inform policy development and implementation effectively.

The EAFO survey, one of the largest on consumer attitudes towards electromobility globally, gathered insights from both drivers of battery electric cars (BEV drivers) and drivers of conventional vehicles (non-BEV drivers). The survey focused on user behaviour and experience, key attitudes and preferences, as well as future expectations.

Respondents identified the climate benefits and cost efficiency of BEVs as the main advantages of electric vehicles. However, price remains a significant barrier, with nearly two-thirds of all respondents citing it as an obstacle. Despite this, a third of the respondents plan to buy an electric car within the next five years.

The survey responses indicated that key information needed includes cost comparisons with fossil fuel cars and driving range. Many non-BEV drivers expressed a desire for a range of at least 500 km, while 80% of BEV drivers found a range of 201-400 km sufficient.

BEV drivers prioritised fully operational recharging stations, minimal waiting times, and clear price information. 40% of BEV drivers have travelled abroad with their BEV multiple times, with the most common issue being the low availability of recharging stations.

Looking ahead, nearly half of BEV drivers are aware of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies, and 68% are interested in buying a V2G-enabled vehicle. The new Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation addresses issues around a reliable cross-border minimum recharging infrastructure that is transparent and easy to use.

The EAFO, the European Commission’s central reference portal for alternative fuels, infrastructure, and vehicles in Europe, provides data and information on various alternative transport fuels and supports the implementation of the EU Directive on recharging and refuelling stations.

The survey included respondents from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. Detailed country reports are available on the EAFO website: https://alternative-fuels-observatory.ec.europa.eu/.

This survey underscores the growing acceptance of e-mobility among Europeans, highlighting the potential for electric vehicles to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. However, it also emphasises the need for policies and infrastructure development to address the challenges of price and range anxiety to accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility.

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