According to a new survey Consumers in some Western countries appear unconvinced as automakers overhaul their factories and supply chains to produce pricey electric cars and invest billions to develop self-driving technology, the survey by OC&C Strategy Consultants showed.
While more than 90 per cent of Chinese residents said they would consider, were likely to or definitely would buy an electric car, only about half of the surveyed consumers in the United States were eyeing an electric car as their next purchase. In Europe, between 64 per cent and 77 per cent of respondents said the same.
OC&C surveyed around 2,000 consumers in each the U.S., China, Germany, France and the UK between March and April 2019 in online polls.
John Evison, one of the survey’s co-authors, said the group did not receive any outside funding for the study.
But survey respondents in Western countries, including younger generations, said owning a car remained an important status symbol offering convenience and reliability not matched by car-sharing or taxi services.
The survey results also put a damper on companies working on robotaxis, with a vast majority of all respondents saying they would strongly prefer owning a fully automated car, as opposed to sharing it.
German carmaker Daimler last month said it has taken a “reality check” on robotaxis amid questions over their safety and earnings potential.
Overall, around a third of Western consumers in the survey said they were distrustful of self-driving cars, while only four per cent of the Chinese respondents said so.
OC&C’s Evison said the results suggested the auto industry should invest more in electrification and services for individual car owners rather than “trying to create the next shared mobility revolution.”