Global survey: internal combustion is favored over battery power

As automakers move towards an electrified future, consumers wary of the limits of electric vehicles continue to be drawn to internal combustion vehicles, according to a global survey by consulting firm Deloitte.

In the United States alone, 69% of consumers say they expect their next vehicle to be equipped with an ICE powertrain. And despite growing interest in sustainability around the world, more than half of American consumers (53%) are unwilling to pay more than $ 500 for alternative motor technology.

Deloitte’s Global Automotive Consumer Study 2022 is based on responses from more than 26,000 consumers in 25 countries conducted between September and October.

The study explored issues affecting the global automotive industry, including advanced technologies, sustainability, cost expectations of new vehicles, virtual shopping and mobility services.

“As the auto industry focuses on the road ahead and returning to its pre-pandemic growth rate, consumer values ​​remain aligned with familiarity and affordability,” Deloitte said in a press release. summarizing the findings of the report.

This is underlined by the general resistance of consumers to pay for advanced technologies, including autonomous driving, improved safety and connectivity.

Electrified vehicles

When asked about the ICE and EV powertrains, consumers offered the following answers:

  • Growing concerns about climate change and reducing emissions are consistently among the top two motivators for electric vehicle adoption among consumers in the United States, Germany, Japan, Korea, India and Asia. from the South East.
  • Consumer interest in battery electric vehicles (BEVs) is highest in Korea (23%), China (17%) and Germany (15%), while Japanese consumers have shown the highest preference for hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids (HEV / PHEV) (48%) followed by Korea (35%).
  • Most EV buyers plan to charge their vehicle at home, especially in Japan (76%), India (76%), the United States (75%) and Germany (70%). Demand for public charging is highest in Korea (38%) and Southeast Asia (29%).
  • Among those who plan to charge their vehicles at home, two-thirds (66%) of Americans will rely on traditional power grids. Meanwhile, consumers in India, China and Southeast Asia plan to use both mainstream grid and renewable energy.
  • Range is the number one concern for electric vehicles among consumers in Germany (24%), China (22%) and the United States (20%). The lack of public charging infrastructure is a priority in Asia (South-East Asia at 28%, Korea at 26%, India at 23% and Japan at 19%).
  • U.S. consumers expect fully charged EVs to travel more than 500 miles (805 km), while a range of around 250 miles (403 km) is acceptable for those in China, Japan and the United States. ‘India.

“The auto industry continues to prove its resilience as the pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of the business,” said Karen Bowman, vice president of Deloitte and automotive leader in the United States.

“Despite these challenges, the industry has remained remarkably committed to electric mobility. Growing consumer interest in more sustainable use, along with the rising costs of fossil fuels, is creating an exciting opportunity for electric vehicle manufacturers, ”she said.

“Global automakers should communicate this value proposition to consumers and strengthen the charging infrastructure required to strengthen their market success and enable a truly electrified future. ”

Vehicle purchases

Consumers who buy new vehicles prefer traditional in-person experiences (photo below) on virtual platforms. However, virtual retail is gaining popularity for its convenience, speed and ease of use.

  • COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the car buying decisions of consumers in India and Southeast Asia (64% and 63%, respectively), while more than two-thirds of US consumers (69%) say the pandemic has not affected their vehicle purchasing plans. .
  • Consumers in India (45%) and Southeast Asia (31%) cite an increased desire to acquire a vehicle to avoid public transport, but only 14% of US drivers said the same.
  • Shopping in person is the preferred way to purchase a vehicle, including three-quarters (75%) of U.S. consumers. In-person experiences are an even higher priority in Southeast Asia (80%) and Germany (78%).
  • However, when shopping virtually, consumers in most countries would prefer to buy direct from an authorized reseller, including the United States (48%). Japanese consumers, on the other hand, would prefer to buy directly from the OEM (49%).
  • The survey also found that shared mobility modes, including vehicle subscriptions and ride-sharing services, face a slow return to pre-pandemic levels as personal vehicle ownership maintains its position. most desirable mode of transportation.

Convenience most often drives virtual vehicle sales in Korea (68%), Japan (41%), Germany (40%) and the United States (39%). Ease of use is highest for consumers in China (33%), as well as India (27%) and the United States (25%).

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Kevin A. Perras