HOW TO PROMOTE ELECTROMOBILITY FOR EUROPEAN CAR DRIVERS? OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME FOR A BROAD MARKET PENETRATION
Jan-Andre Buehne, Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), Dana Gruschwitz, Institute for Applied Social Sciences (infas), Jana Hölscher, Institute for Applied Social Sciences (infas)
The ERA-NET Electromobility+ project eMAP has carried out a consumer survey in 2013. In order to identify the demand-related obstacles and potential impacts of imperfect information a total of 6 000 online interviews were conducted in the EU.
The market introduction and penetration of electric vehicles can be seen as a milestone in order to reduce the environmental burden imposed by the transport sector. The wide-spread use of electric vehicles using electricity from renewable sources promises a substantial reduction of local emissions in urban areas as well as greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). The European Commission (EC) is aiming at a reduction of 20% of GHGs by 2030 with respect to 2008, which still implies an 8% raise compared to the baseline year 1990 due to the substantial increase in transport and transport emissions in the past two decades (EC 2011). In order to achieve this ambitious goal the EC White Paper: “Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system” proclaimed the goal of halving the use of ‘conventionally-fuelled’ cars in urban transport by 2030.
Electric driven vehicles offer a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, but their market penetration is still marginal. In order to identify the market potential as well as adjusting screws to overcome current obstacles for a further deployment of electric vehicles, the eMAP (electromobility – scenario based Market potential, Assessment and Policy options) project has been initiated within the ERA-NET Plus transnational call Electromobility+ in 2012.
The project eMAP concentrates on the analysis and assessment of the market penetration of electric vehicles and its socio-economic impacts. In this process feasible deployment paths of electric vehicles are investigated for the time horizon 2025-2030. This is done by a scenario based market model which specifies the demand potential and market supply of electromobility. The socio-economic impact of the deployment of electromobility in terms of greenhouse gas and local emissions, transport costs, energy supply, employment and technological change in industry and economy is evaluated using different scenarios. Political support measures and strategies for electric vehicles are identified and their impact on the deployment path is analyzed and evaluated.
As a major input for the scenario modelling and calculation of potential market penetration paths of electric vehicles until 2030, a consumer survey was completed by the end of 2013. In order to identify the demand-related obstacles and potential impacts of imperfect information a total of 6 000 online interviews were conducted in the European Union region: 1 000 interviews in the project partner countries Finland, Germany and Poland each, and additional 3 000 interviews in the most populated 14 EU countries. The topics of the online questionnaire were:
• available cars and usage pattern
• decision making process in car ownership and use
• expectations towards cars in everyday life
• awareness and knowledge about different propulsion systems
• consumer attitudes towards electromobility
• impacts of policy and other measures towards the purchase decision
• the socio-demographic background of the consumer
The results show high consumer awareness for electric vehicles and indicate that consumers are generally open-minded towards the technology. Low fuel consumption is of special importance for most consumers in their decision making process and electric drives are perceived as helpful in order to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels as well as to reduce air pollution. But the knowledge and experience with electric vehicles in everyday life is rather low. Electric cars are considered as being expensive and only one third of the consumers are aware of the lower operating costs. Moreover, electric cars are often considered as not suitable for the individual mobility requirements even if individual mobility pattern would allow the usage of electric cars. The information and experience gap is identified as one of the major obstacles besides the missing charging infrastructure and relatively high purchase costs.
Association for European Transport