58% of Europeans would consider buying an electric vehicle

Several weeks ago, Germany’s Bundesrat resolved to ban the internal combustion engine (ICE) starting in 2030 as an effort to cut down carbon emissions. If approved at the EU level, this decision would represent a critical step towards achieving the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement. Without interested customers, however, this step would lead nowhere. Therefore we wanted to find out if Europeans’ support for electric vehicles is on par with policy trends.

The results from our EU-wide survey conducted in August showed that a majority of Europeans, 58%, would consider purchasing an electric vehicle. Approximately 1% of respondents say they already own one, matching the current estimate of electric vehicle sales in Europe. Though Germans are leading the charge on a political level, it is actually Italians who have the highest share of potentially interested customers: 54% of Germans would consider buying one, compared to 79% of Italians.

Next we wanted to see if interest in EVs was more prevalent in specific European demographic groups. Our results show that nearly all types of Europeans are equally likely to consider buying an electric vehicle: we found a similar level of interest among men and women, urban and rural populations, and among all education, age and disposable income groups.

Lastly, we asked Europeans if they would support any other policies meant to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. About one third of all Europeans (34%) say they would approve of “more government support for electric vehicles”. When asked if they would support “higher vehicle emission taxes”, Europeans were slightly less likely to say yes: across all EU countries, 22% would support higher vehicle emission taxes. For both of these policy questions, German support fell right around the EU average, while Italy again surfaced as the most open-minded towards electric-vehicle adoption.

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