Chinese consumers prefer green cars more than western peers

16:36, April 19, 2011      

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Some 50 percent of Chinese consumers surveyed consider themselves as potential first movers in purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle compared with 12 percent in the United States, 16 percent in Europe and 4 percent in Japan, according to survey results released by Deloitte on April 18.

These potential first movers are between 18 and 35 years old, and 80 percent of them have a bachelor's degree or higher. About 50 percent of them are males who live in urban areas and are affluent.

Most Chinese consumers surveyed said that the reasons why they favor electric vehicles more than traditional gasoline vehicles lie in their impact on the environment, the availability of government subsidies, low cost to operate, low cost of repair and maintenance as well as safety.

Up to 90 percent suppose that electric vehicles are "green and clean" and about two-thirds said electric vehicles are safe, stylish and inexpensive to operate.

The survey also shows a critical point in fuel prices that affect the popularity of electric vehicles. Around 66 percent of the Chinese consumers surveyed said that they are "much more likely" to consider an electric vehicle if the cost of fuel rises to 10 yuan a liter. The percentage rose to 85 percent if the cost of fuel hits 12 yuan a liter. However, 82 percent said that if the fuel efficiency of traditional gasoline vehicles falls below 3 liters per 100 kilometers, they will be less willing to buy an electric vehicle.

Craig Giffi, head of Deloitte's global automotive sector, said that as China is the largest auto market in the world and Chinese consumers are increasingly interested in electric vehicles, China undoubtedly has enormous attraction to electric vehicle makers. However, he said, "Current market offerings generally fall far short of consumers' expectations for driving range, charging time and purchase price."

By People's Daily Online

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