Although electric cars have gained serious recognition in the media and tech circles, market penetration remains at about 1% even in top markets like China. However, as electric vehicles are being produced more efficiently and at a larger scale, prices continue to decline, making EVs more attractive to buyers. Are consumers ready to adopt electric cars on a mass scale?

At a global scale, 40% of those planning to buy a car within the next five years say they are likely to buy all-electric (even though not all of them would be able to afford one at foreseeable price points). The percentage is higher among those who are looking to buy a replacement for their current car (44%), and lower among those who have never owned a car (36%).

When it comes to the perceived advantages of electric cars, most people see the environmental impact as their greatest advantage. 65% say it’s beneficial that electric vehicles pollute less and that “they reduce reliance on fossil fuels” (43%). People also appreciate how quiet EVs are (37%), that they cost less to run (29%), and that they are modern (23%).

 

The main barriers to electric vehicle adoption are the perceived disadvantages of the logistics of owning one. For example, 50% of people think there aren’t enough charging stations, 42% don’t think they could use an EV for long distance travel, and 36% think it would take too long to charge one. 44% of respondents also think an electric vehicle would be too expensive to buy.

 

While the lack of charging stations is a problem in certain countries (particularly those with low electric car adoption rates), even in countries with lots of charging stations, people don’t think there are enough. In Japan for example, where the number of electric car charging stations has surpassed the number of gas stations, 64% still think there are not enough charging stations. Additionally, most EV charging times can be quite low, contrary to what many people may think. For example, the BYD e6, a top selling EV in China, can charge up to 80% of its 300km range in 15 minutes. Dalia’s survey shows people are interested in electric cars, but it also suggests many remain unaware or are wary about the logistics of owning and maintaining an EV.

To explore more transportation facts and figures, visit the interactive dashboard How the World Moves.

Photo by Håkan Dahlström Photography