Demand for electric vehicles by private individuals remains low
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    Demand for electric vehicles by private individuals remains low

    Only 5% of respondents stated they would opt for an electric vehicle with their next purchase, if they replace their car within the next three years. Credit: Belga

    The majority of electric vehicle roll-outs will begin with company cars since private interest remains low, the VAB Club, a Belgian association specialised in mobility, concluded on the basis of an online poll it has conducted among 4,000 motorists.

    VAB also found that company fleets are likely to transition into electric vehicles in various phases, starting with the purchase of rechargeable hybrid vehicles.

    Respondents with company cars who will be able to change them within the next three years felt there was one chance in four that their next vehicle would be a rechargeable hybrid, and 1 in 10 that it would be an entirely electric car.

    Among private drivers however, demand for electric vehicles appears to remain limited, with only 5% stating they would opt for an electric vehicle with their next purchase.

    Respondents said they would prefer to charge their vehicles at home but those with company cars are banking on being able to charge them at work. This leads VAB to conclude that the success of the rollout of electric cars will depend on the charging infrastructure that employers place for their employees’ disposal.

    For now, public charging stations play a limited role. Fewer than 10% of future electric-vehicle drivers intend to use them.

    Still, not everyone will be able to charge their cars at home since not every urban resident has a reserved place or garage where a charging station can be installed. Moreover, some outdated electrical systems are not compatible with this type of installation.

    The VAB concluded municipal authorities and real-estate promoters should take this into account in future projects, in order to make the transition quicker and more smooth.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times

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