Dec 20, 2019 08:00 PM

Charts of the Day: Chinese More Open to Electric Cars Than Europeans or Americans

A survey of around 10,000 consumers in France, the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and China shows that over half would consider buying a new-energy vehicle (NEV), with Chinese people having the most favorable view, perhaps due to Beijing’s generous subsidies over the years — which have now been cut.

In the survey by consultancy OC&C Strategy Consultants, 94% of Chinese respondents said they would at least consider purchasing a hybrid or pure-electric car after their current vehicle, with 74% saying they would be likely or very likely to make such a purchase. In Germany and the U.K., only 69% and 65% said they would consider it, respectively, while just 53% of U.S. consumers said they’d think about buying an NEV.

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However, it seems that it will take time before these considerations and intentions translate into actual sales. According to the survey, only 7% of Chinese respondents bought an NEV the last time they replaced their vehicle. However, NEV sales have actually been falling in China since the national government began slashing subsidies for buyers over the last few years. According to statistics (link in Chinese), from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry group, NEV sales dropped 43% year-on-year in November.

The survey also looked at autonomous vehicles, another area in which Chinese respondents appeared to be more receptive than their peers overseas. More than 70% said they’d be willing to try a self-driving car, with just 4% saying they’d be unlikely to use one. That compared with 40% of U.S. respondents and 44% in Germany who said they’d be unlikely to allow a robot to drive them around.

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Contact reporter Isabelle Li (

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