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European Consumers’ Attitudes towards Diesel, Hybrid and Electric Cars—Key Findings, 2016

European Consumers’ Attitudes towards Diesel, Hybrid and Electric Cars—Key Findings, 2016

This is an end-consumer survey on the attitude and perception towards diesel, hybrid and electric cars. The aim of this study is to understand consumers’ perceptions and attitude towards gasoline, diesel engines, hybrid and electric cars and further analyse their switching behaviour from diesel to hybrid/electric vehicles. About 2,525 end-consumers were surveyed online in Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain, all of which count as the largest car markets in Europe. The survey included both male and female respondents from urban, suburban and rural areas who currently own either a gasoline, diesel, hybrid or an electric car. The average annual mileage for a male driver was 19,000 km, and for females 17,500 km.

Research Scope
To understand consumers’ sustainability and environmental priorities in their life and in their choice of vehicle.
To determine consumers’ perceptions and attitudes towards different environment and sustainability factors, and to evaluate the importance of each in determining the characteristics of the future powertrain.
To determine consumers’ perception, concerns and attractiveness of alternative powertrains (hybrid and electric vehicles) in comparison to conventional gasoline and diesel engines.
To perform a tracking analysis of changes in consumers’ attitudes, perceptions and preferences in comparison to the findings from 2012 and 2014 Frost & Sullivan Powertrain voice of the consumer studies.
To determine the impact on consumer perception and attitude towards diesel engines post the Volkswagen (VW) emission scandal.

Key Issues Addressed
What are the general purchasing criteria and powertrain attributes that a customer considers while buying a car of his choice?
What is the customers’ interest in considering a diesel-driven car as their next vehicle of purchase? How is the customer perception about diesel cars changing? What is the impact of the VW emission scandal on this perception?
What is consumer perception of xEVs? How does it change by EV type – mild, full, plug-in hybrid and battery electric cars? What are key reasons for consideration of xEVs?
How has the awareness level about xEVs improved over the last few years? How has the switching behaviour changed over a period of years?


  • Executive Summary
    • Key Findings
    • General Criteria for Purchasing a New Vehicle
    • Current vs Preferred Fuel Engine Type
    • Factors that Go Against Diesel Engines
    • Electric Vehicle (EV) Design Expectations
  • Research Objectives and Methodology
    • Research Aim and Objectives
    • Key Questions This Study Will Answer
    • Research Methodology
    • Vehicle Segmentation
    • Sample Structure
      • Table Customer Attitude towards Powertrain: Study Sample Size, Europe G5, 2016
    • New Vehicle Segment Structure by Country, 2011–2015
      • Table Market Structure in Numbers: New Car Registration Segment Structure, Europe G5, 2011–2015
    • Weighting Methodology
    • Data Weighting Scheme
  • Respondent Profiles
    • Car Ownership
    • Car Ownership and Usage
    • Current Fuel Engine Type
  • General Criteria for Purchasing a New Vehicle
  • Consumer Attitude Towards Diesel Cars
    • Main Reasons for Considering Diesel Engines
    • Main Reasons for Not Considering Diesel Engines
    • General Impact of the VW Emission Scandal
    • Impact on Volkswagen Brand—Trend
    • Impact on Diesel Perception
      • Table Customer Attitude towards Powertrain: Impact on Diesel Perception, Europe G5, 2016
  • Consumer Attitude Towards Hybrid and Electric Cars
    • Main Reasons for Considering Hybrid Engines
    • Main Reasons for Considering EVs
    • Attitudes Towards Hybrid vs. EVs
    • EV Driving Range Expectations
      • Table Customer Attitude towards Powertrain: Expected Driving Range of EV Vehicle, Europe G5, 2016
  • Switching Analysis
    • Current vs. Preferred Fuel Engine Type
    • Preferred Fuel Engine Type
    • Demographics
      • Table Customer Attitude towards Powertrain: Preferred Fuel Type by Demographics, Europe G5, 2016
    • Attitude Towards Vehicle Technology
    • General Criteria for Purchasing a New Vehicle
      • Table Customer Attitude towards Powertrain: General Criteria for Purchasing a New Vehicle, Europe G5, 2016
  • Growth Opportunities and Companies to Action
    • Growth Opportunity—Convert the Interest in xEVs to Sale
    • Strategic Imperatives for Consumer Interest in xEVs
  • Conclusions
    • Key Conclusions
  • Appendix
    • Market Engineering Methodology

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