Mass Adoption of Electric Vehicles Still Some Distance Away

By Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, PRNE
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

UK consumers more willing to pay premium for electric cars than European counterparts, according to new Deloitte study

GENEVA, March 9, 2011 - Despite rising fuel prices, the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs)
is still some distance away, is the finding of a new study by Deloitte, the
business advisory firm.

According to the survey of 4,760 European consumers, only 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 percent say they
are not likely to consider purchasing or leasing an EV.

David Raistrick, automotive partner and head of manufacturing at Deloitte
UK, commented: "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.

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.

David Raistrick added: "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

"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."

The majority (57%) of respondents who say they may be willing to consider
an Electric vehicle 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.

David Raistrick added: "For mass adoption, manufacturers will need to
meet the challenge of pricing electric vehicles in line with consumer
expectations, while still maximising 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

"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."

Notes to editors:

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK
private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each
of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see about for a detailed description of the legal structure of
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services
to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally
connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings
world-class capabilities and deep local expertise to help clients succeed
wherever they operate. Deloitte's approximately 170,000 professionals are
committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited Global Manufacturing Industry group

The Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) Global Manufacturing Industry
group is comprised of more than 750 member firm partners and 12,000 industry
professionals in over 45 countries. The group's deep industry knowledge,
service line experience, and thought leadership allows them to solve complex
business issues with member firm clients in every corner of the globe.
Deloitte member firms attract, develop, and retain the very best
professionals and instil a set of shared values centred on integrity, value
to clients, and commitment to each other and strength from diversity.
Deloitte member firms provide professional services to 84 percent of the
manufacturing industry companies on the Fortune Global 500(R), including 90
percent of the 30 global automotive companies. For more information about the
Global Manufacturing Industry group, please visit

Global Electric Vehicle research

DTTL's 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. The survey asked
respondents how likely they would be to consider buying or leasing an
electric vehicle when they buy or lease their next vehicle (assuming that
electric vehicles were readily available) and how likely they were to
actually buy or lease an electric vehicle. The research analyzed the
characteristics and opinions of three groups based on their purchase
interest: Potential first movers are consumers who are most likely to buy or
lease an EV; Might be willing to consider are consumers who are interested,
but less likely to consider an EV; and Not likely to consider consumer who
would not be interested in buying or leasing an EV.

Country level data was normalized by the total adult population for each
country to be representative of a pan-European demographic sample, adjusting
for both differences in sample size at a country level as well as eliminating
potential country biases in the computations not represented in the broader
European demographic. As a result, countries with larger adult populations
(of driving age) had a greater influence and contribution to defining the
pan-European statistical results. The overall margin of error for the
pan-European results is + 1.4%.

Related research

DTTL's report, A new era. Accelerating toward 2020 - An automotive
industry transformed, examines the shape of the automotive industry as the
world emerges from the global economic downturn. It captures the perspectives
of Deloitte member firm senior automotive leaders worldwide on the industry
situation today and in the future and focuses on the structural changes,
customer trends, technology developments and workforce issues in the
industry. For a copy of the report, please visit

Jamie Harley, +44-020-7303-5037, jaharley at or Jason Leavey, +44-020-7303-7030, jleavey at

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