Electric Vehicles: an anticipated hit in China

TÜV Rheinland Group’s Global Report on E-vehicle Markets finds high expectations in the Middle Kingdom

The TÜV Rheinland Global Electric-Vehicle (EV) Survey 2011, released in the fourth quarter, suggests that a majority of car owners in India and China would choose to purchase an EV in the next five years.

TÜV Rheinland Group has a broad range of specialists and labs for vehicle safety testing in Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, China and the USA. This report draws findings from a poll of 6,421 people, conducted by our vehicle testing specialists in 12 main markets including China, Germany, Japan and the USA. From this sample, a total of 502 adult drivers in China were surveyed. The respondents owned a representative variety of cars varying in size, brand and category.

When discussing the results, Dr. Thomas Aubel, Executive Vice President of Mobility at TÜV Rheinland, indicated that “These alone will (have) a significant impact and completely change the market perception and conditions”. The survey shows that although the problem of charging is the biggest concern for Chinese drivers, most people are still willing to invest more for the sake of environmental protection. In addition, Japan and Germany are perceived as the leaders in EV technology and thus customers would prefer to buy Japanese and German EVs. Potential EV buyers selected Volkswagen as their preferred brand.

The survey confirmed that Chinese drivers commute mainly in cities and most driving is short- or mid-distance. When asked if they would purchase an EV in the coming five years, approximately 88% of the Chinese respondents said that they would, trail just behind India with 92%. The poll finds that 44% of respondents would use an EV in the same way as their present car, while 39% would prefer to use the EV only for regular trips. Over 60% of driving journeys are in cities and 87% of those surveyed drive less than 100km in their daily lives, with journey times of less than 2 hours. The study shows that families with a higher income drive longer hours and distances than those with lower incomes.

The report found that most of the Chinese respondents drive fewer than 100 miles per day. This makes driving an EV viable because the battery needs to re-charge after a certain distance and this is likely to be satisfied. Thus, Chinese people are more willing to buy an EV than others.

Environmental Benefits of EVs are high on Chinese respondents’ minds In China, 40% of those interviewed said that they would like to buy an EV because of environment protection. Saving fuel (19%) tops the list of environmental concerns; including combating global warming, air pollution, protecting our future from environmental changes and environmental protection through reduced oil exploration. The cost is also relevant; for example, the rising fuel price weighs quite heavily with 32% of respondents. To this end, 16% may choose an EV to save money on fuel. The purchase price, governmental subsidy and tax credits can also assist in the adoption of electric vehicles.

More than four out of five (80%) are willing to pay more to buy an EV to support environmental protection. 38% of the respondents claimed that they would prefer an EV to a regular vehicle even if the price of the EV was 20% higher. The study finds that those with a higher household income are more likely to value environmental protection, with 63% wanting to buy an EV, which is 11-12% higher than those with a lower income. One in four of the low-income respondents said that they were discouraged by the cost of environmental protection.

Access to charging points and battery safety are the greatest concerns. Data shows that charging options, convenience and accessibility will be critical to EV adoption. People worry about the need to recharge the battery after a certain distance (22%), the availability of charging stations (19%), the number of hours required to charge the battery (9%) and loss of power while driving (4%).

However, 9% of the respondents would not buy an EV due to safety considerations. Of these, 50% of them are very concerned about battery leakage/explosion (17%), battery safety (17%) and loss of power in the street (16%).

From the Chinese perspective, Japan and Germany are perceived as the leaders in EV technology. The specialists from TÜV Rheinland Group found that when asked which country was the most technologically advanced with regard to EV technology, more than half of the respondents perceived Japan (50%) and Germany (49%) as the leaders, followed by the USA (33%) and China (31%).

This result shows that Chinese drivers will choose Japanese or German brands because they believe these lead in vehicle technology. The survey also reveals that people’s first car buying experience has a direct impact on their next purchase. Volkswagen was selected as the best choice for an electric vehicle for its brand reputation and not for a specific product. In fact, the German automaker so for does not sell EVs in China.

As environmental and energy efficiency concerns spread throughout China, electric vehicles (EV) are increasingly seen as a solution for modern transportation. As they grow ever more popular, EVs will have a profound and positive impact on energy applications, transportation and society. EVs growing popularity will also create tremendous opportunities for charging systems and other EV-related products.

TÜV Rheinland is an internationally renowned third-party inspection and certification organization, our team of experts foresees the growth of this new market, being the first in China to launch testing and certification services for EV charging systems. Our service scope includes: EV charging stations, EV cables, EV charging couplers and EV on-board battery chargers. TÜV Rheinland can help charging station owners, EV manufacturers, and component suppliers demonstrate the superior quality and safety of their products and equipment.

About TÜV Rheinland Greater China

An internationally renowned independent third-party testing, inspection and certification organization, TÜV Rheinland possesses close to 140 years of experience, has 500 service locations in 61 countries on 5 continents, employs over 14,500 people worldwide, and provides professional service support to clients around the world.  TÜV Rheinland employs approximately 2,700 people in the Greater China region, offering testing and certification services such as industrial and renewable energy services, electrical and electronic product testing, telecom testing, fast-moving consumer products testing, ergonomics evaluation, mobility, railway safety, food safety and management system.  TÜV Rheinland has long been synonymous with rigorous high-quality testing and certification services and for providing a variety of professional assessments from an impartial and independent perspective.  We provide local companies with quality services and solutions that comply with safety, quality, and environmental-friendly requirements.

TÜV Rheinland Greater China

Beijing – Guangzhou – Hong Kong – Ningbo – Qingdao – Shanghai – Shenzhen – Taipei – Wuxi

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