Deloitte: ‘one in three Belgians planning EV purchase’
According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Automotive Consumer Study, one out of three Belgians is planning to opt for an electric car for his next car purchase. Almost all of them (91%) say the pandemic didn’t change their initial idea of what type of car it would be. In the US, the classic ICE (gasoline) car is veering up again, as only 26% will choose an electric car now, compared to 41% last year.
Deloitte surveyed more than 24 000 consumers from 23 countries, including 1 057 consumers in Belgium. Like last year, the study shows, the top concerns are the cost to acquire an electric vehicle (28%), driving range (27%), and lack of charging infrastructure (19%).
It proves the Belgian didn’t get over his ‘range anxiety’ yet, but in other countries, fear of finding no charger when on the way is even greater. In the US, 28% see driving range as the main concern, followed by the lack of charging infrastructure (25%). Germany shows similar percentages (28 and 22%). In China, the driving range (25%) is on top, followed by concerns about infrastructure (20%).
A better driving experience
What is important to decide to go for an EV is lowering fuel costs, reducing emissions, and having a better driving experience. The majority (67%) is looking at EV prices lowering beneath the €30 000 thresholds. Most are counting on charging their EVs at home (64%) or work (16%). Only 19% plans to use a public charger.
Belgians love to have the latest Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS), with blind-spot warning (71%) and emergency braking features (68%) among the most desired. But they are not likely to trust their car to drive autonomously without them holding the wheel, as 47% of Belgian consumers think it isn’t safe. In 2019, this was only 43%.
Semi-autonomous drive mode as a requirement scores very low, even in the States (32%) and Germany (30%), while in countries like India (76%) or China (69%), confidence in the technology is far greater.
No plans to postpone
In line with neighboring countries such as Germany, says Deloitte, a quarter of the Belgians have altered their timeline for buying their next car. Fifteen percent is planning to delay it compared to 17% in the US and 29% in China.
Although the pandemic taught most Belgians to do much more shopping online, buying a car this way is frightening. Only 23% would be prepared to buy without a test drive before. The ‘speed of the buying process’ would be the main reason for buying online. But still, 83% of Belgians want to see a dealer in person for such an important purchase.
Nevertheless, Aled Walker, automotive expert at Deloitte Belgium, advises the sector to invest in digitization for the future. “If we compare the age groups, one out of four consumers aged 18-34 are looking to buy their next vehicle partially or fully online,” he adds.