| 1 MINUTE READ

Personal Car Ownership Fends Off Public Transport During Pandemic

EVs gaining acceptance but the pace needs to accelerate

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to have a lasting impact on global mobility trends, with private car usage gaining at the expense of public transportation and new mobility services such as ride-hailing as people try to minimize contact with others.

(Images: Continental)

These are some of the findings of the latest Continental Mobility Study. Conducted in conjunction with social research specialist Infas, the study surveyed people in China, France, Germany, Japan and the U.S. in September.

China Leads the Way

The trend is most pronounced in China, where 46% of those surveyed reported using their cars more often than before COVID-19. And three in five said they recently bought a car or plan to do so in coming years.

By comparison, about 20% of the respondents in France, Germany, Japan and the U.S. indicated their car usage has increased during the pandemic. Less than 15% plan to buy a vehicle anytime soon.

Slumping Public Transportation

Conversely, nearly 60% of the respondents in China and Japan—and 40% in the other countries—say they are using public transportation less.

Ride-hailing and other shared mobility currently play a limited role in all of the countries, with China scoring the highest usage rate of about 10%.

EV Perception vs. Reality

Electrified vehicles are vital to future mobility, according to the study. But, the authors note, sales volumes of such models are well below expectations and the scale required to meet emission reduction targets.

The good news: A growing number of people worldwide are open to buying an EV in the future, including 44% of Americans and a whopping 86% in China.

The bad news: About half of the respondents in Germany (57%), France (56%), the U.S. (50%) and Japan (46%) still are opposed to the technology. Just 12% of those polled in China said they would never consider an EV.

Common Concerns

Lack of charging stations was the most cited detriment against EV ownership, followed by range anxiety.

Price premiums and more difficult trip planning also were key considerations.

Environmental Benefits?

In addition, one-third of the German respondents and one-fourth of those in France said they wouldn’t consider an EV because they doubted the technology’s environmental benefits.

Respondents elsewhere were less troubled by such concerns. In the U.S., one in 10 respondents cited questionable “green” bona fides as a reason not to go electric, while just 1% of those polled in Japan did so.

RELATED CONTENT

  • Mercedes GLK250 BlueTEC 4MATIC: Bringing Diesel Tech to a Midsize SUV

    Mercedes has been putting diesels in vehicles since 1926. It has been offering them in the U.S. since 1949. And 2013 is seeing a range of offerings, including in its popular GLK SUV.

  • Volkswagen Goes Common - But With a Difference

    Creating products for its various brands and global markets once meant considerable complexity. So Volkswagen has decided to go common—while providing a considerable amount of flexibility.

  • Breaking Down the Chevy Bolt

    Sandy Munro and his team of engineers and costing analysts at Munro & Associates were contacted by UBS Research—an arm of the giant banking and investment firm—and asked whether it was possible to do a teardown and cost assessment of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.