Politicians and carmakers behind public opinion on electric vehicles

2nd October 2018

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Lindsay Goater

One in four European citizens believe the next car they buy or lease is likely to be electric of fuel cell powered, but manufacturers and politicians are failing to keep up with public opinion.

That is according to research from the NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), which reveals that 62% of Europeans think carmakers are not doing enough to sell electric motors through attractive marketing, pricing and choice.

It was also found that a similar number of citizens believe governments should force car companies to sell electric vehicles, with this sentiment most strong in Spain, Poland, Italy and the UK.

“Europeans are open to buying electric cars, but carmakers aren’t doing enough to offer attractive, affordable electric models,” said Greg Archer, clean vehicles director at T&E.

“This is the single biggest obstacle to a faster shift to electric mobility. Citizens want carmakers to do more and governments should set ambitious CO2 standards to ensure they do so.”

The research involved a survey of 4,500 citizens from the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden by polling experts Ipsos Mori.

It was found that Spain was the country where most citizens think the next car they buy or lease would likely be electric of fuel cell powered on 58%, followed by Italy on 56% and Sweden on 43%.

Germany and France were the two countries where least people were likely to believe their next car would be electric or fuel powered on 30% each, followed by the UK and Poland both on 32%.

However, a significant 72% of French people, 68% of Germans and 67% of British citizens surveyed said that carmakers are not enough to sell electric vehicles – the three biggest new car markets in the EU.

Over half of Europeans want the EU to set ambitious targets that are achievable to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars in 2030, with just 11% saying these should be limited to minimise the impact on jobs in the car and oil industries.

“The clear message is that citizens expect their government to be far more ambitious about driving the shift to low and zero-emission vehicles than what the European Commission and German government are proposing,” Archer added.

Image credit: iStock


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