A large survey by the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) in twelve EU Member States shows a positive attitude towards switching to battery-electric cars. Despite the price being a hurdle, 57% of non-electric car drivers are considering purchasing an electric vehicle in the future.

Following the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy the EU aims to cut transport greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050. Rapid take-up of zero-emission vehicles will play a key role in achieving this ambition, and battery-electric vehicles are a mature mass-market technology now. However, vehicle take-up and maturity of markets differs considerably among Member States, with Member States facing similar, but also distinct challenges. A good understanding of consumer attitudes and preferences helps to better inform policy development and implementation.

This EAFO survey, with over 19,000 respondents, is one of the largest on consumer attitudes towards electromobility in the world. It surveyed both drivers of battery electric cars (BEV drivers) and drivers of conventional vehicles (non-BEV drivers) in view of their user behaviour and experience, key attitudes and preferences as well as future expectations.

Respondents highlighted the climate benefits and cost efficiency of BEVs, as the main advantages of electric vehicles. Price remains a major obstacle, with nearly two-thirds of all respondents citing it as a barrier. However, a third plan to buy an electric car within five years. The survey responses indicate that key information needed includes cost comparisons with fossil fuel cars and driving range, with many non-BEV drivers wanting a range of at least 500 km. In contrast, 80% of BEV drivers find a range of 201-400 km sufficient.

BEV drivers prioritise fully operational recharging stations, minimal waiting times, and clear price information. 40% have travelled abroad with their BEV multiple times. The most common issue when travelling abroad was the low availability of recharging stations. Looking ahead, nearly half of BEV drivers are aware of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies, and 68% are interested in buying a V2G-enabled vehicle. The new Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation addresses issues around a reliable cross-border minimum recharging infrastructure that is transparent and easy to use.


EAFO is the European Commission’s central reference portal for alternative fuels, infrastructure, and vehicles in Europe, providing data and information on various alternative transport fuels and supporting the implementation of the EU Directive on recharging and refuelling stations.

The survey included 19,080 respondents from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. Detailed country reports are available on the EAFO website: https://alternative-fuels-observatory.ec.europa.eu/

Source: European Commission