ECONOMY

Turkish drivers' appetite for electric vehicles above world average

As recent developments have raised consumers' belief in the future of electric vehicles, studies suggest that Turkish consumers' willingness to purchase electric vehicles maintains a level above the world average.

Developments in the field of electric vehicles are moving very rapidly. Studies show that battery prices are rapidly declining, while the ranges are increasing, plus fast charging stations are becoming incrementally widespread.

According to information compiled from the TEB Cetelem Observatory 2019 report, electrical vehicles offer some solutions in environmental, economic, industrial and social terms thanks to their specific technical features. However, in addition to some possible obstacles in the development process, ongoing technical and organizational issues are also worth noting.

When these obstacles are overcome, drivers are expected to fully benefit from the power and convenience of this innovation. The results of the report indicate that significant progress has been made on issues related to the infrastructure and legal regulations of electric vehicles in the period between the observatory survey conducted in 2012 and the study conducted in 2019 on electric vehicles. Consumers' perceptions and requests have also changed during this period.

Through the promotional activities carried out in this period and the first models seen on the roads in the meantime, people have gotten used to this new product more and more.

In the survey conducted in 2012, the lack of confidence in the technology of the product was the third reason for not buying this product, while this item ranked sixth in this year's survey, proving that people have adopted this product. Today, while the limited range of electric vehicles stands out as the main weakness, it is seen that providing customers' acceptance of this factor is an obstacle that cannot be ignored.

Moreover, while the purchase price and range, which drivers consider as a critical criterion for electric vehicles, has not shown much improvement in recent years, this element is still considered to be one of the biggest obstacles to people's adoption of electric vehicles. However, positive developments have been recorded in the amount of savings in usage expenses. Consumers' perceptions of electric vehicles are likely to be significantly improved due to the increased attractiveness of electric vehicles. The rate of people ready to pay more for an electric vehicle in Europe increased by 7 points compared to 2012. Meanwhile, a survey of 10,600 people between the ages of 18 and 65 from 16 countries, including Turkey, outlined the opinions of consumers about electric vehicles.

According to the report, 25 percent of the vehicles sold in the world are expected to be electric in 2030. This figure is expected to rise to 36 percent in China, where the purchase is encouraged, and up to 39 in Norway. According to statements by Turkish drivers participating in the survey, 29 percent of the vehicles to be sold in Turkey will be electric.

Given the Turkish consumers' perception of electric vehicles, the reason for not buying is the vehicles' high price. Short range despite long battery charge time is also expanding the distance between Turkish consumers and electric vehicles. Another factor keeping Turkish drivers away from electric vehicles is their range of 83 kilometers per day, which is 32 kilometers above the world average. In spite of the negative data, the rate of Turkish drivers, who said they could buy an electric car in the next five years, was 60 percent, which was 17 percentage points above the world average of 43 percent. Turkey's first indigenous automobile to be manufactured by the Automobile Joint Venture Group (TOGG) is expected to enter the market in 2022 with an electric SUV in the C segment.

The fact that batteries will be cheaper is shown as the first reason for electric vehicles to become widespread as of 2030. A cost of $1,000 for one kilowatt-hour in 2010 is now down by 5 percent. In the future, this cost is expected to fall below $150.

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