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French consumers associate electric vehicles with low emissions

June 16, 2014

A GfK study revealed that overall, some 61 percent of consumers in France have a favorable overall opinion of electric vehicles, but customers are polarized when it comes to actually considering a purchase, usually due to costs.

Overall opinions

Some 35 percent said they were somewhat or very open, while 34 percent said they were not very or not at all open to electric vehicles. However, half of customers in France would pay up to 5 percent more for an electric vehicle, while 35 percent would pay 10 percent more. Some 6 percent would pay a premium price, which is 20 percent higher than a gasoline car.

Other things holding back consumers in France are the lack of choice and a belief that there is little infrastructure to support electric vehicles, such as charging points.

So why would someone in France choose an e-vehicle?

About 85 percent believe low emissions are the main benefit provided by electric vehicles; some 78 percent see them as easy to operate. Just under half say e-vehicles are “safe” (49 percent), followed by “reliable” (46 percent) and have “low maintenance costs” (39 percent).

Electric vehicles in FranceAnother interesting point from the study, which was conducted in six countries: French consumers associate electric vehicles with low emissions – e.g. with a benefit for society. This contrasts to Japan, where consumers see the cars as offering direct personal benefits.

Nicolas Cardon, Services Automotive Technology Division Manager at GfK in France, said, “The French perceive the benefits of electric vehicles as indirect, i.e. ‘low emission,’ rather than direct or personal, such as ‘safe, reliable, or easy to maintain.’ Automakers should strive to give consumers a more balanced view on the individual and societal benefits.”

For more about our offerings, visit our Automotive pages or contact us for more information about our Electric Vehicle study.

Nicolas Cardon is Services Automotive Technology Division Manager at GfK in France. He can be reached under: nicolas.cardon@gfk.com

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