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Deloitte study concludes mass adoption of EVs in Europe is some distance away

A new study by Deloitte, the business advisory firm, concludes that despite rising fuel prices, the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe is still some distance away. According to the survey of 4,760 European consumers, 16% see themselves as potential first movers to buy or lease an electric vehicle, while 53% say they might be willing to consider it, and 31% say they are not likely to consider purchasing or leasing an EV.

There is no doubt that electric vehicles are the future of the automotive industry. However, while interest in electric vehicles is growing, with 69% 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.

—David Raistrick, automotive partner and head of manufacturing at Deloitte UK

More than 80% 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.

Range, price and charging concerns need to be addressed. 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 (74%) 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% 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.

The automotive industry continues to invest in high end R&D to devise the cutting edge technology required for electric vehicles. It is clear that this innovation is a priority for car manufacturers. I believe there is potential for green vehicles to represent 10% of the new car market within 10 years, although the road to get there will be bumpy. Manufacturers face many challenges, both in terms of actual design elements, as well as changing the mindset of consumers toward electric vehicles.

—David Raistrick

The majority (57%) 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. Only 24% of the same group say they would be willing to pay a premium. Currently, hybrids and battery electric vehicles represent a tiny fraction of total cars on the road. The adoption of all forms of green vehicles will be significantly influenced by government policies.

For mass adoption, manufacturers will need to meet the challenge of pricing electric vehicles in line with consumer expectations, while still maximizing their margins. Consumers are not likely to want to pay a high price premium for EVs. This means that incentives such as tax reductions and exemptions will be very important to the purchase decision. Just like the Government supported the highly successful car scrappage scheme, they should now be turning their attention to electric vehicles. However, 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.

—David Raistrick

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (DTTL) Global Manufacturing Industry group conducted a global survey to explore consumer adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). The online survey captures the views of more than 10,000 consumers across the Americas, Asia and Europe. Within Europe, 4,760 consumers in seven countries—Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and UK—were surveyed from 28 January to 10 February 2011. To qualify for the survey, potential respondents had to be 18 years of age or older and have a driver’s license.



I think too many people are still stuck in gasoline thinking. They project a mode of use that is commonplace for a gasoline vehicle (drive until empty, then fill up) onto an electric vehicle. However, the idea is that you plug in your EV wherever you park it. And maybe you don't even need to plug it in with induction charging spots. Just park it.

I hope and expect that as soon as charging points start popping up all over the place, people will realise that and see that an EV doesn't need an extraordinary range to be useful.

The less than 2 hrs charging time that people expect is already a reality. Most EV's can charge to 80% in 30 minutes. With battery swap, 'charging' time is one minute. Otoh, who cares if the charging time is < 2hrs or 8 hrs, if it charges overnight? You don't have to stand by your car and wait for it.

If people want 300 miles between charges, that means an EV with a 75 kWh battery. Charging that in less than 2 hrs means you need a 40 kW charger. No household grid connection can deliver that. So the EV is not the problem there, the grid is.

I think too many people are still stuck in gasoline thinking.
You can say that again!
If people want 300 miles between charges, that means an EV with a 75 kWh battery.
What people want (or think they want) and what they can afford or even get are two different things. At $400/kWh, the 75 kWh battery would cost $30,000. That's more than many cars! Swappable batteries eliminate the need for such things, and could even allow many drivers to use much smaller (and cheaper) batteries for every-day trips.
Charging that in less than 2 hrs means you need a 40 kW charger. No household grid connection can deliver that.
I grew up in a house with a 44 kW grid connection (220 V 200 A). The house was not exceptional (though the neighborhood transformer could not have served many houses at that level).

I grew up in a house with a 44 kW grid connection (220 V 200 A).

Wow. I never knew that. Household connections here are mostly 230 V, 25 A or 40 A single phase or 25 A 3 phase. Above that, it is considered a commercial connection and you pay a lot more.


The USA has (had?) somewhat greater expectations for electric supply, and the service was specified with an eye to allowing a conversion to electric heat. The cabling was run underground with lots of concrete near and over it, so it would have been difficult and costly to change later.

I'm assuming you're in the Netherlands. Rather different attitudes to many things there, electricity included.


Actually with the limited range I would expect to pay less for an electric car than for a convetional vehicle.


Light commercial trucks for repairmen (plumber, e.g.) could be EVs that plug in at the customer's home, to charge up. The repair might take an hour so when he leaves his vehicle has enough charge to make it to his next customer. Just as a carpenter plugs in his electric saw, it's expected that the customer supplies that power.


Sounds like another survey of uneducated drivers.

PBP is making an attempt to meet some of these unreasonable expectations, this one:

"The majority (57%) 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"

How do they do this?, by leasing you the battery separate from the purchase of the car.. and the cost of the lease is lower than the cost of conventional fuel. Then you have Battery Swap as the other solution for the 300 mile range issue, they would be better off just to get a rail pass for the long trips.



The survey is largely speculative since there are no "EV educated" drivers in it. The general public knows little or nothing about EV s. Probably 80% have never heard of a Tesla. Until PHEVs and EVs get on the roads for a couple of years allowing people to see and hear about their benefits - these surveys are meaningless.


Its simple.. the less the car does the more you will have to spend on other things to get everything you want done OR the less things you want to get done will be done.

Either way its less value to you.

Also no matter what you can make me pay more money then I have. Even if gas is 6 bucks a gallon thats only 200 a month or less.. alot less in some cases... Above 6 a gallon in the us and I see china falling apart simply due to shipping costs and fuel prices... I see india falling apart again for the same reasons. I see many poor countries falling... And all that will make hitting 8 bucks a gallon rather unlikely... and while yes that will mean an extra 30-50 a month I have to take from somewhere and slap into fuel... at least im not them... falling apart.

Anyone who still has an suv either isnt driving it unless they realy need to or they have enough money it doesnt matter if fuel was 30 a gallon...

We will wait till there is a or are some winners in this future car adventure. Until then we will just drink a few less coffees or eat a few less cheeseburgers.. and tell dear mother in law we need to conserve this year;/


Shipping is efficient, it takes a lot of fuel but it hauls a lot of freight. I would rather have people considering EVs than waiting for hydrogen.


But what happens if the fuels such ships use go up 6 fold in cost?

As for evs vs hydrogen.

We know we have indevidualy have plenty of time to see what h2 realy has to offer. Its not as if evs are going to get more expensive or less capable if we wait a few years.

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