European battery-electric vehicle (BEV) drivers are travelling over 600km a year further than petrol and diesel-vehicle owners, claims Japanese OEM Nissan.
The findings, released by Nissan ahead of World Environment Day on 5 June, suggest that BEV drivers are making more use of their vehicles, thanks in part to improvements in driving ranges. They also show a shift in vehicle-usage dynamics, with electrified models more popular than ever before.
Nissan’s study showed that, on average, owners of zero-carbon vehicles drive more than 14,200km yearly. Those with internal combustion engine (ICE) variants, however, only averaged 13,600km a year. Taking all the data into account, the gap between BEV and ICE was 630km a year in favour of electric mobility.
‘This research reiterates that electric driving is not only a smart option beneficial to the environment but also a fun, exciting and convenient choice for the owners,’ said Arnaud Charpentier, region vice president, product strategy and pricing, Nissan AMIEO. ‘It is no surprise that people now drive EVs further than ICE cars. We are confident that with more EVs on the road dispelling myths, range anxiety will soon be in the past.’Of the European BEV drivers the carmaker surveyed, Italian drivers travel the furthest, averaging more than 15,000km a year, closely followed by those in the Netherlands (14,800km).
Available charging infrastructure sound
Surprisingly, against the claims of poor charging infrastructure, a majority (69%) of those asked said they were happy with the current charging infrastructure available. Almost a quarter (23%) said that the most common myth surrounding electric driving is that the existing charging infrastructure cannot cope.
However, while Nissan plays these results as an indication of high satisfaction in BEV technology, it is widely recognised that more needs to be done with Europe’s charging infrastructure. It is worth noting there may be a slight bias when it comes to asking existing BEV drivers about infrastructure, as they have already adapted to the modest, but expanding, network of charging locations.
A survey conducted by charging company Ionity earlier this year showed that the development of charging infrastructure influences driver perceptions. In the Netherlands, a country with a well-developed infrastructure, drivers of BEVs have fewer concerns about charging times (37%) or charging stations (35%) based on their experiences.
This contrasts with Spain, a country where the charging infrastructure is still developing. EV drivers responding to Ionity’s poll highlighted a more significant concern with the charging network, and most often associate driving a BEV with searching for charging stations (65%).
Nissan’s study also revealed that 47% of European ICE drivers believe the main advantage of their cars is a greater range. When looking into the 30% of ICE owners who stated they would never switch to a BEV, the majority (58%) stated that range was the biggest concern.
However, despite these results, drawing a comparison with those who have already converted to an electric car, 70% of existing European BEV drivers note their experience of range has been better than they expected.
‘With EVs on the cusp of wide-spread adoption, we can be confident these positive findings should help change the opinion of the ICE drivers for whom a degree of range anxiety is still preventing them from converting to electric mobility,’ continued Arnaud.
The survey highlights that there is satisfaction amongst those who made the switch from ICE to BEV, but carmakers and governments still have work to do in order to convince a majority that electric is the mobility solution for the future.