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Deloitte Study Finds Consumers Are More Interested in EVs, Not Self-Driving Cars

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【Summary】Deloitte’s 2020 Global Automotive Consumer Study finds American consumers are willing to consider an electric vehicle more than ever, but the majority of them aren’t interested in spending more money for autonomous technology.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jan 13, 2020 6:30 AM PT
Deloitte Study Finds Consumers Are More Interested in EVs, Not Self-Driving Cars

On a global scale, automakers are looking toward electric vehicles. The goal for going down the electrified route is to meet more stringent emission standards and tighter regulations. Autonomous technology is another rabbit hole that a lot of automakers are shifting toward. So far, neither of these two technologies have really taken off. However, that might change down the road.

American Consumers Considering More EVs

Deloitte put out its 2020 Global Automotive Consumer Study and found that interest in electric vehicles is growing rapidly in the United States. The study claims that 41 percent of Americans are now interested in getting a vehicle with an alternative powertrain for their next vehicle. A few reasons for the shift in consumer perception include lower operating costs and lower emissions.

It's not just the U.S., but consumers around the world are starting to make the switch to electrified vehicles. In Japan, interest in alternative powertrains has increased to 63 percent, for consumers in China it's up to 57 percent, and in Germany it's risen to 51 percent. In all of the countries, consumer interest in alternative powertrains has gone up.

That is good news for automakers, which are changing nearly all aspects of their companies to ensure that electric vehicles are at the forefront for the future. Unfortunately, interest in autonomous vehicles isn't growing at a similar rate. 

Deloitte's study found that 48 percent of U.S. consumers believe that a fully self-driving vehicle will be unsafe. In fact, from last year, the number of consumers in the U.S. that believe autonomous cars aren't safe increased in 2019 from 2018.

Autonomy Is A Tough Sell

That isn't something that's limited to just the U.S., either. It's a similar situation in Germany and India. In countries like Germany and China, the way consumers feel about autonomous vehicles has remained stagnant – they're not getting more excited about self-driving vehicles, nor are they becoming more skeptical of the machines.

In the U.S., autonomous vehicles are being tested on public roads in high numbers, so that's not a good sign. Companies like Waymo and Uber are trying diligently to prove that self-driving cars are the way forward by having more and more consumers interact with them on a regular basis. 

Some automakers, like Tesla, are even selling fully autonomous packages on vehicles for the high cost of $7,000. Apparently, that's way too much, as 58 percent of surveyors claimed that they don't want to pay more than $500 for autonomous technology.

As we've seen before, consumer interest in automobiles can change drastically. Just a few years ago, sedans were the most popular body style in the U.S. and now they've been overtaken by SUVs and crossovers.

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