For all the reported sales growth and advancements in EV technology hitting the market, you'd think that electric vehicles were close to gaining a foothold in the mainstream auto market. Deloitte's new survey provides a sobering look at what consumers around the world would expect from an EV - and those expectations are significantly higher than the capabilities of today's EVs.
The survey was titled "Unplugged: Electric vehicle realities versus consumer expectations," and included more than 13,000 consumers in 17 countries throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The study found that while consumers show interest in purchasing EVs, they are not willing to sacrifice on things like price, range, and other performance indicators. According to the study:
The reality is that when consumers' actual expectations for range, charge time, and purchase price (in every country around the world included in this study) are compared to the actual market offerings available today, no more than 2 to 4 percent of the population in any country would have their expectations met today based on a data analysis of all 13,000 individual responses to the survey.
“Vehicle range is clearly an issue among consumers,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman and automotive practice leader, Deloitte LLP. “American consumers have the highest range expectations with only 63 percent satisfied with a range of 300 miles — despite the fact that 77 percent of American respondents said they drive only 50 miles or less per weekday.
“The paradox here,” said Giffi, “is that current technology targeted at the mass market can usually accomplish a range of 100 miles between charges, which is twice as far as the typical American drives each work day. Yet, for some reason, the 100-miles-a-day capability is still unacceptable to most consumers; they want at least 300 miles between charges.”
Other factors, such as charge times, would also affect consumers' willingness to invest in an EV. Fifty-eight percent of U.S. consumers would expect an EV to charge in two hours or less, while an additional 23 percent of American respondents would expect a 30-minute charge time. Globally, only a minority of those surveyed considered the current EV charge time of up to eight hours to be acceptable.
In addition to performance criteria, the price point for EVs was a significant issue. More than half of global consumers said they were unwilling to pay more for an EV than they would for a gasoline or diesel-powered car, including Americans (65 percent), Chinese (44 percent), and British (71 percent). Furthermore, in a majority of the countries surveyed, half of consumers (or more) said they would expect to pay $20,000 or less for EV, which is considerably below what they currently cost.
See the full report here.