Study uncovers barriers to adoption of electric vehicles

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Gaining traction – Will consumers ride the electric vehicle wave? - .PDF file.

A new study from Deloitte has found that range, charging time, and purchase price are still barriers to the mass adoption of electric vehicles.

According to the survey of 4,760 European consumers, only 16 per cent see themselves as potential first movers to buy or lease an electric vehicle, while 53 per cent say they might be willing to consider it, and 31 per cent say they are not likely to consider purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle (EV).

David Raistrick, automotive partner and head of manufacturing at Deloitte UK, said: ‘There is no doubt that electric vehicles are the future of the automotive industry. However, while interest in electric vehicles is growing, with 69 per cent of respondents willing to consider an EV today, current market offerings generally fall far short of consumers’ expectations for driving range, charging time and purchase price.’

According to Deloitte, more than 80 per cent of European consumers surveyed said that convenience to charge, range, and the cost to charge were all key considerations when buying or leasing an EV.

David Raistrick said: ‘Our research shows that there are specific design targets that manufacturers must reach in order to entice car buyers.

‘Three-quarters of European consumers surveyed said that before they would consider purchasing an EV, they would expect it to be able to travel 300 miles between charges — much higher than what is currently available — and 67 per cent said the battery must take no longer than two hours to charge.

‘In the UK, however, consumers consider the ability to travel at least 200 miles between charges to be the tipping point, especially in London and the South East.’

Fifty-seven per cent of respondents who say they may be willing to consider an EV expect to pay the same or less for an EV than they do for a regular car. Twenty-four per cent of the same group say they would be willing to pay a premium.

‘A bright note for the UK is that it appears from our research that UK consumers are more willing to pay a premium for electric vehicles than their counterparts in other European countries,’ said Raistrick.