Understanding European Consumers’ Preferences for New Cars

Electric cars being charged

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Background

The size and composition of the vehicle fleet across Europe has implications for the environment and the effectiveness, congestion and safety of the highway network. It also has wider economic, social and other impacts. How the vehicle fleet evolves is influenced by automotive manufacturers, authorities, infrastructure providers and consumers.

The Joint Research Centre of the European Union has developed a detailed systems dynamic model representing the feedback and interaction between these actors and how they influence the vehicle fleet across Europe. The aim of this research is to enhance understanding of consumer preferences for different car type choices for personal travel use, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles.

Goals

The goal of the study is to quantify the influence of key factors on consumer preferences for different types of vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles. The factors considered include purchase price, running costs, depreciation, vehicle range, refuel/recharge time and tailpipe emissions.

Methodology

Stated preference discrete choice experiments will be undertaken to quantify the impact of key factors on consumer preferences for different vehicle types. The surveys will be undertaken in six European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK. The study’s outputs will provide an enhanced understanding of factors influencing European consumers’ car type choices and will feed directly into the JRC’s systems dynamic model of the European light vehicle market.