VAB: ‘Consumer not ready yet for EV’
Mobility club VAB has realized its first e-Barometer, surveying 4.000 car users in Flanders. On the question of what they expect from electric mobility, only 5% of individual buyers see themselves in an EV.
“The first breakthrough will have to come from the fleet sector,” says Joni Junes from VAB. “There, 10% of the respondents see themselves driving an EV in the next three years.” There is more interest in hybrid cars: 25% of the company car drivers see themselves driving a PHEV, whereas 14% of the individual buyers are interested.
The high price of an EV may still be one of the hurdles for an EV; the biggest problem is the fear of getting stuck without charging possibilities. “People prefer to charge at home, but for people living in the city, this is very difficult,” adds Junes.
Public charging infrastructure doesn’t seem to be an alternative. “Hoping that the charging point isn’t occupied, recuperating the car when loaded, it still demands too much of people,” says Junes. “Public charging stations are only seen as temporary stops when traveling further.”
Users of company cars hope that they can charge their car at work. But then the employers have to foresee better infrastructure at the workplace. Suggestions are made that the legislator has to interfere and make the presence of charging points mandatory.
It remains strange that the average Belgian car user drives approximately 40 km a day, and is nervous about getting stuck with an electric car, which now has a range of at least 250 km. One of the reasons is that the consumer is still thinking in the same way he did 10 or 20 years ago.
He often buys a car taking into account its probable use once or twice a year, when it has to cover longer distances with the whole family aboard (vacation trips). The car industry can solve this problem with attractive ‘swapping’ solutions for their electric car users.
Apart from that, one must also admit that authorities aren’t giving clear messages either. Taxes, regulations, and possible incentives aren’t communicated clearly and are changed frequently. A coherent policy all over the country is needed.