Observe, enlighten and decipher the evolution
of consumption patterns in France and abroad

Faith in the future and innovation

4 minutes of reading

The rise of the electric vehicle seems inevitable. And yet the idea still arouses a degree of suspicion. The energy crisis, particularly as it relates to electricity, has raised doubts as to Whether this alternative to internal combustion vehicles will be a complete success, since the raw material needed to power these cars could one day be in short supply. And once again, the price factor prompts fears of a short circuit.

People are not against going electric, as long as they receive support. They must also mull over the question of whether to choose a more expensive traditional brand or a cheap Chinese brand with which they are unfamiliar. So, buying electric is something to consider, but perhaps not just yet. This stance is creating even more uncertainty in the market.


Despite a tough economic climate and a tightening of regulations, most people cannot imagine a world without cars. Only 1 in 5 people expect them to play a less important role in the future than they do today, an opinion expressed most strongly in Europe, particularly by the French (29%).

Those who believe in the resilience and omnipresence of cars are represented chiefly by the usual quartet of China, the United States, Mexico and Turkey, the only countries in which more than 50% of respondents expect cars to have a greater presence in the future (Fig. 17).

Fig. 17


In the minds of motorists, the omnipotent automobile is not confined to a glorious, ancient past, but also possesses virtues that make it a natural part of the future, despite the environmental challenges we face. More than 8 out of 10 respondents think that technological advances will result in greener cars. This finding must be music to the ears of manufacturers, who argue that the solution is rooted in innovation, rather than restrictive regulations. This faith in technological progress is particularly prevalent in China, Mexico and Turkey, as well as in Portugal (Fig. 18).

Fig. 18


And what better way to benefit from virtuous advances while enjoying guaranteed access to all roads than by driving an electric car? Nearly 7 out of 10 people view this type of vehicle as the epitome of technological progress. However, this overall score conceals pronounced differences between the countries, to an extent rarely seen before in this survey, underlining the fact that electric vehicles are far from a self-evident solution in everyone’s eyes.

It is hardly surprising that the two countries in which electric cars have been the most widely adopted are among the closest aligned with this statement, with 88% sharing this view in China and Norway. But the enthusiastic Turks are even further ahead, with 91% finding themselves in agreement. In contrast to this pro-electric movement, several European countries are reluctant to believe that these vehicles are the embodiment of progress.
The proportion of respondents who back this statement in Austria and France is half that of the aforementioned countries (Fig. 19).

Fig. 19


This “resistance” to electricity in certain countries is confirmed when motorists are asked to project themselves into a totally electric automotive future, which once more produces wide disparities. Again the Austrians and the French are cautious on this matter, with fewer than 4 out of 10 people considering making the switch. Generally speaking, European respondents are not entirely convinced, whereas those in “emerging” countries such as Turkey, Mexico and China tend to be seriously considering this option (Fig. 20).

Will the development of battery gigafactories, not least in Europe, have any impact on the situation?

Fig. 20


Internal combustion engine cars still appear to have a few good years ahead of them. Only 2 out of 10 people surveyed expect electric vehicles to completely replace them within the next five years. 4 out of 10 motorists cannot see this happening for another 15 years, which is the timeframe set by the European Union (Fig. 21). This is another way for them to express genuine scepticism on the issue, while also highlighting their clear-sightedness and ability to take the long view of the automotive sector, both in terms of innovation and range renewal. Although the differences between the countries are less pronounced in this instance, the segmentation observed for the previous two items is broadly the same.

Fig. 21

Sub-section 9
Technical regulations that are indeed very technical
As we have already seen, confusion and scepticism reign on the topic of LEZs, regarding both their existence and their implications. The same is true of engine regulations and possibly even m
Sub-section 11
Electric cars are taking centre stage… but raise new questions
L’Observatoire Cetelem has long paid close attention to electric vehicles, and was among the first to announce their advent. However, this edition should be seen as something of a milestone, si