2030, the overhaul of the electric car (by S. Panzeri)

In 2025, electric cars will be the most in demand on the market, and by 2030 they will represent over 50% of the demand in the sector. This is what the report states “Electric mobility: inevitable or not? Analysis from the consumer point of view “made by Motus-E and Quintegia on data from a study conducted by the English consulting firm Element Energy commissioned by Platform for Electromobility, the European body for the promotion and facilitation of policies to support the development of electric mobility. A study conducted by consulting 14,052 consumers in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Poland, Italy was also present with a sample of 2,004 people, on which the analysis of Motus-E and Quintegia focuses.

From 3 to 77% in 30 years

The report highlights the growing interest of Italian motorists in battery technology, which was valued by only 3% of the population in 2020, a year in which demand is dominated by petrol (61%) and diesel (27%) models. The scenario will change already in 2025: electrically, consumers will be the first choice with 30% of the preferences over petrol (25%) and plug-in hybrid (23%), ie rechargeable from the columns to drive about 50 kilometers with zero emissions.

Over the years, zero-emission cars take over and reach 51% of demand in 2030, rising to 77% in 2050, with the only available option being rechargeable hybrid (23%), while petrol, diesel and traditional hybrid disappear from possible choices. Furthermore, we remind you that the Fit for 55 package proposed by the European Union, which is still awaiting approval, includes a ban on the sale of incinerators from 2035. The recorded percentages appear to be confirmed by the responses to the intention to buy in the next 5 years, where 12% declare the purchase of an electric very likely and 29% consider it quite likely. Conversely, the “very unlikely” answer gets 8%.

Price is a crucial factor

The analysis evaluates the crucial factors to guide purchasing decisions. The biggest obstacle to the electric transition is the price of cars, today on average 30% higher than traditional vehicles. The confirmation comes from the propensity to buy according to the price list. Only 10% would be willing to spend 49,000 euros to drive without emissions, a percentage rising to 46% with a price of 35,000 euros, to 70% with an outlay of 28,000 euros to reach 87% for a model of 21,000 euros.

Against price parity

According to the study, the higher costs of electric cars should gradually disappear as the prices of electric cars will fall and the prices of traditional cars will rise to cope with the increasingly stringent rules for emissions. A double trend that should lead to price parity in 2030, the very year in which consumer demand exceeds the 50% threshold. At the same price, the interviewees actually declare that they prefer zero-emission models.

Other trends will contribute to the fall in the price lists of electric models, such as a reduction in the cost of production of batteries (-58% in 2030), the element that has the greatest impact on the price list. Industrial costs are also expected to decrease (-10 / 30%) achieved thanks to the growing development of specific platforms for the manufacture of electric cars. A factor that alone would lead to price parity in 2028. The gradual arrival in the market of cheaper models and the increased competition are also in favor of the zero-emission choice. Conversely, the impact on operating costs, which is about 30% lower in an electric car compared to a traditional one, does not seem to be decisive.

The electric choice grows with autonomy

The autonomy (now 200-500 kilometers), which is lower than traditional models, affects the electrical choice. This forces users to change their approach to driving by carefully planning charging stops. It is therefore not surprising that as mileage increases, the desirability of the car increases. Only 26% of people are attracted to models with a range of 270 kilometers. The percentage increases to 46% for cars with 450 kilometers and reaches 71% for those who are able to drive 635 kilometers on a single charge. The desire to reduce the need for stops is highlighted by the willingness of many to pay a higher price for cars with extra range.

Desire for fast and domestic charging

Correlated with autonomy, the third critical element for battery-powered cars is recharging. The long refueling times and the small branching public infrastructure (26,024 “outlets”, 56% in northern Italy) tend to drive away motorists. In particular, the biggest obstacle will be the discrepancy on the motorway network of the Fast Pillars to fill up at times that are compatible with a normal stop in the service areas. Removed this limit, 63% of respondents would no longer consider access to recharge as an obstacle. Percentage, which becomes 77% in relation to the availability of columns at the usual places of visit, such as shopping malls. Also important is the possibility of home charging, without which 65% of consumers would not buy an electric car.

From skeptics to enthusiasts

Based on the responses obtained, the report defines three consumer profiles: enthusiastic, pragmatic and skeptical. The first are 48% of the interviewees and are represented by innovators, wealthy people with environmentally sensitive and wealthy pioneers, wealthy people with just over 40 years interested in new generations of models. The pragmatists (41%) are in fact environmentalists who are aware of technological innovation and those who, even with low incomes, tend to use electricity to protect nature. Skeptics (12%) are middle-aged 50s who are uninterested in the automotive world and low-income young people who think zero-emission models are too expensive.

Percentages, to tell the truth, leave some confusion for the consistency of the wealthy on the total, which seems a bit overestimated compared to the Italian income reality. Also of interest is the discrepancy with the results obtained in other European countries, especially for the skeptical category, which reaches 40% in Germany, 52% in France and 54% in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the enthusiast record in the Netherlands is reached with 66% of the total. Not surprisingly, the desire to buy in the Nordic country reaches 78% already in 2030 (51% in Italy) to exceed 90% already in 2035.

Hydrogen and e-fuels do not seduce

Other ecological alternatives to reduce the environmental impact of cars are not very popular. Hydrogen appears to be penalized by the high price (an increase of 12,000 euros is estimated compared to an electric one in 2025 and 4,800 in 2040) and by the need to create a dedicated refueling infrastructure. Factors that, together with the high energy consumption that is crucial for producing green hydrogen by electrolysis (the only one that is considered valid), do not make the solution a valid alternative to electricity, although the supply of models will grow significantly in the coming year. today there are only two).

Synthetic fuels (e-fuels) with zero emissions also seem unattractive, produced using renewable energy that could power cars already on the market with an internal combustion engine. To curb the excitement, the estimated high refueling costs (+ 80% compared to traditional fuels, with parity expected no earlier than 2037), which make cars powered by e-fuels not very competitive compared to battery-powered: in 2030 there will be an overall management expense 23% higher. In addition, they are considered to be less environmentally friendly.

Speed ​​up the transition

Overall, research from Motus-E and Quintegia underscores the growing consensus in terms of battery technology, but also the need to remove the key obstacles that limit the ability to turn desires into real purchases. Limits intended to reduce, if not disappear, over time, but which could be removed more quickly with targeted intervention by the Italian Government. “We hope,” declared the Secretary-General of Motus-E Francesco Naso, “that the measures to support the procurement of vehicles, which the government has publicly committed itself to, are aimed at the simplicity of the adoption, the sustainability of the funds that benefit from them. to a structural and multi-annual vision “.

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