Global Mobility Study electric and autonomous vehicles

Results from the fourth annual Global Mobility Study reveal a widening gap in interest in EVs versus AVs and declining support for vehicle ownership among youth and city dwellers

A new study of consumer perceptions has found that while electric vehicles continue to hold the interest of a majority of respondents in Canada and India, price concerns in a range of countries are holding back adoption.

The report, the annual Global Mobility Study, prepared by Vision Mobility, CurosityCX and LEK Consulting, with support from Michigan State University and HHL Leipzig School of Management, looks at perceptions of present and future mobility based on survey responses from 5,800 people in nine different countries.

“A key barrier for EV adoption remains cost, and a continued narrative to expand the conversation to Total Cost of Ownership is needed,” says James Carter, principal consultant at Vision Mobility.

India and Canada lead

India is most interested in EVs, at 61 per cent, followed by Canada at 56 per cent and the United States at 46 per cent.

According to Carter, the latest data shows interest in autonomous vehicles (AVs) is waning in the United States. Specifically, 41 per cent of respondents said they are either “somewhat” interested or “very” interested in fully autonomous vehicles, a drop of 4 per cent from 2016, while 37 per cent of respondents were “somewhat” or “very” interested in partially autonomous vehicles. The latter’s decline was 9 per cent.

39 per cent of U.S.-based respondents said if they didn’t have to own a car, they wouldn’t

Far and away the overarching factor limiting EV adoption is cost, with respondents in seven of nine countries saying their number one concern is that EVs are “too expensive to buy.”

Many respondents also seem to question the value of vehicle ownership entirely, with 39 per cent of U.S.-based respondents saying if they didn’t have to own a car, they wouldn’t. This was up 3 per cent from 2017.

Renting versus buying

Forty-one per cent of those in the Generation Z and Millennial categories felt it was better to rent or lease expensive items, compared to only 22 per cent of those 65 and over.

Interest in micro-mobility is stable. The percentage of respondents who are “somewhat or very” interested in e-scooters showed a 1 per cent decrease (23 percent versus 24 per cent in 2018) while the bike sharing response held steady at 23 per cent.

The full fourth edition of the Global Mobility Study will be released in the first week of December, when the principal authors will host a series of webinars to discuss these details and other findings.