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Could Millennials Be the Key to The Success of Electric Cars?

AFP Relaxnews

First published: September 20, 2016, 1:20 PM IST | Updated: September 20, 2016
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Could Millennials Be the Key to The Success of Electric Cars?
For representational purpose. (Photo: AFP Relaxnews)

Millennials believe that switching to a greener car is the biggest single contribution they can make to the planet's future sustainability. According to a study of 2500 18-to-34-year-olds across the UK, Spain, Germany, France and Italy, 76% think that getting behind the wheel of a hybrid plug-in electric car is the key to making their lives more environmentally friendly.

Over three-quarters of European Millennials (77%) already own a car but almost two-thirds of that group are prepared to go hybrid within the next decade while over half would consider a fully electric model before 2026. When asked about the environmental issues that concern them, the study, commissioned by Nissan's Intelligent Motoring Advisory Board (NIMAB) found 53% are focused on climate change and 42% air pollution. Recycling (24%) and continued reliance on landfills for waste disposal (14%) also figure in their thoughts.

"The millennial demographic surveyed here has the potential to be hugely influential in determining the future of transport and sustainability. We have consistently found in our own research that they are early adopters of new technology, much more environmentally friendly than previous generations and generally willing to make sacrifices and lifestyle changes in line with their personal values and beliefs," said Sarwant Singh a Frost & Sullivan Senior Partner and NIMAB member.

While Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles, Nissan Europe said, "As an industry, we must work harder to engage the interests and needs of this group."

Despite millennial concerns, just 1 million new electric vehicles are expected to hit the world's roads over the course of 2016 and the highest concentration will be in Norway, where one in three new cars is a plug-in electric vehicle.

One of the biggest drivers for this unparalleled demand is state incentives. The Norwegian government has been hugely supportive of electric cars and as the latest IHS Markit research shows, incentives drive demand. "Attractive incentives in France are also spurring EV growth there," said Ben Scott, senior automotive analyst for IHS Markit. "However, a recent change in PHEV taxation in the Netherlands has somewhat inhibited the market in this country." Electric cars now make up 1.6% of new car sales in France but in the Netherlands, sales have fallen to 2.2%.

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