The children talk about environmental issues with their parents and the adults end up taking decisions influenced by these conversations. So says ABB E-Mobility, a leader in green charging solutions, which has conducted a study on how new generations are trying to create a sustainable and emission-free future.
To reach viable conclusions and represent as much as possible the generality of the analyzed population, the survey was conducted in the 10 largest ABB electric mobility markets. Namely: Canada, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
A total of 2500 adults with children aged between 8 and 16 years and 2500 children, also aged between 8 and 16 years, participated in this study.
Environmental situation: the perception of different generations
The number of adults and children surveyed who classified the current global environmental situation as bad is considerable: 79.2% for the older ones and 73.6% for the younger ones. A perception of reality that can justify the fact that almost half of the children involved in this study said that they had already asked their parents to be more environmentally friendly.
ABB was also able to notice a “good deal of intergenerational interaction over the causes of climate change and the steps towards mitigating it” when 58.1% of parents surveyed admitted that they have been educated by their children on environmental issues.
In addition to these questions, which served to understand how these two generations analyze and interpret the problems our world is currently facing and to what extent there are family discussions around this topic, ABB also focused its study on electric mobility (e-mobility).
That is, the company tried to find out if the little ones are receptive to e-mobility if they encourage their parents to buy electric or hybrid vehicles and if adults consider their children’s opinions when buying the family car.
Future drivers’ preferences
Aged between 8 and 16, the children demonstrated to be receptive and even enthusiastic about e-mobility. Of the 2,500 interviewees, 68% were “excited about driving electric in the future”.
Despite their young age, 52.4% of the children also stated that when they grow up they intend to drive electric cars and 30.2% see themselves behind the wheel of hybrid models. Until then, they try to influence their parents’ decisions regarding family cars, 80% of them successfully.
Given these percentages of children who dream of electric or hybrid cars and those who claim to have the ability to influence their parents, one would expect the 78.6% of adults surveyed who confessed that if they buy a new car in the next three years, they will switch to an electric or hybrid model.
Other data which confirms the influence of children on parents’ purchasing decisions concerns the Americans who participated in this study since 33% of parents who drive electric vehicles (EV) confessed that it was the pressure from their children that made them switch to these cars.
Globally, the fact that EVs and hybrids are both better for the environment and more economical ranked as the two highest purchase drivers for current EV owners at 66.1% and 61% respectively. A value that rises to 93.8% in the case of the Chinese parents who consider that: “owning an EV was a better financial investment as well as a more sustainable choice”.
China, one of the leading countries in EV development, adoption, and infrastructure, demonstrated, in many of the categories analyzed, “a more mature electric market”. Namely “with both children and parents revealing a far greater awareness of the benefits of e-mobility and more enthusiasm towards them”, shares ABB in the press release.
E-Mobility: the areas in which work remains to be done
Although the overwhelming majority of participants, whether older or younger, were receptive and even enthusiastic about e-mobility, there is still some work to be done so that it becomes more and more appealing.
It is important, for example, to provide easier and more convenient charging. Proof of this is the 80% of parents surveyed (98% in the specific case of China), who said they would be more interested in buying a property if it included an EV charger such as ABB’s Terra AC wallbox.
Getting companies to rethink their policies, especially those that do not look at e-mobility in a good way, is another point to be worked on. To give you an idea, 48% of the people involved in this study said that the policy of the companies where they work does not support the switch to EVs.
Despite all these aspects of e-mobility that still need to be improved, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is confident about the future. “EVs will represent 30% of vehicles sold globally in 2030” and “there will be a ninefold expansion of public chargers to over 15 million units by the end of the decade”. However, “charging at home and the workplace will also be decisive in meeting much of the global demand,” IEA predicts.
The ABB E-Mobility Sustainability Strategy 2030
Given the results of the ABB E-Mobility study the company’s CEO says that “it’s encouraging to see the enthusiasm and determination of young people towards a low-carbon future”. Especially when the participants’ answers also reveal “an increasing dialogue and action across generations” focused on environmental issues and e-mobility.
However, “it is also noticeable that many people still do not feel able to take the climate-conscious steps for which they are clearly ready” argues Frank Muehlon. In the view of ABB’s CEO, “it is vital that older generations, in positions of influence, join the younger generation on this journey and work to quickly implement electrification policies that enable a cleaner, greener society”. Just as ABB E-Mobility is trying intends to do with its 2030 Sustainability Strategy.
The company has committed, as part of the ABB Sustainability Strategy 2030, to replace the more than 10,000 cars in its global fleet with electric models by the end of the decade. Being that, by 2021, EV or plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) already accounted for 44% of ABB’s global new vehicle purchases.
To go along with this strong bet on electric models, ABB E-Mobility has also reinforced the number of charging stations in its facilities. In the last year, it increased from 545 to 1082 stations, spread across 146 locations in 27 countries.