Electric vehicles fit mobility habits of European car drivers

Most existing driving patterns of European car drivers are compatible with the use of electric vehicles, according to a JRC-led survey carried out in six EU countries (France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom). At EU level, 75% of new passenger cars were sold in these countries in 2011.

The main purpose of the study was to examine driving profiles in order to be able to estimate potential matches with charging profiles of electric vehicles. The results show that electric vehicles fit mobility habits.

The average daily distance, for example, lies between 40 and 80 km, a range that can be comfortably covered by current electric vehicles. The parking time between several car trips throughout the day amounts to 6 hours, suitable for topping up the charge. After the last trip of the day, the car is usually parked for more than 16 hours, a more than sufficient duration for a full slow recharge of an electric vehicle battery. The survey also showed that drivers do not use their cars significantly more on weekends, so electric vehicles could also cover the typical driver needs on Saturdays and Sundays.

The JRC also looked into the attitudes towards electric vehicles in these same six European countries: car drivers see the opportunities electric vehicles can offer (little noise, zero emissions), but a number of pre-requisites, such as a lower price and an improved driving range , need to be fulfilled before they consider electric vehicles as a decent alternative. In addition, many car drivers feel they are not familiar with electric vehicle aspects, especially typical recharging time and costs, which stresses the need for demonstration activities in order to increase public awareness of electro-mobility.