Gen Z open to buying electric cars, but Gen X cautious on price

The future could be bright for electric vehicle adoption in Ireland.

A significant majority of today’s 18-to-34 year-olds would consider an electric car for their next vehicle purchase.

Finances are the main factor driving sentiment among the general population on electric vehicle (EV) adoption, according to a survey by Allianz, with concern for the planet the main priority among Gen Z and millennials.

“It’s important that all regions across Ireland are provided with the same resources and support to help drive EV adoption forward”

Of the 18-34 year olds surveyed, nearly two-thirds said they would consider purchasing an EV due to environmental reasons (35%), followed by cost savings on fuel  (30%). In comparison, older generations are concerned by high initial purchase costs. This is reported as the main barrier to EV purchase for 35-64 year olds.

Regional factors are also very much at play in driving sentiment towards EV adoption, with two thirds of residents in Dublin considering purchasing an EV compared to just 48% in the Connacht/Ulster region. Meanwhile, just over half of residents in the rest of Leinster and Munster would consider purchasing an EV vehicle.

Prospective EV buyers in Dublin were more influenced by environmental considerations (36%) as opposed to financial factors. Increased congestion, traffic jams and fuel pollution may help explain why Dubliners are the standout region when it comes to wanting to purchase an EV vehicle. 

Cost of living concerns

“It’s important that all regions across Ireland are provided with the same resources and support to help drive EV adoption forward,” said Valerie Hedin, marketing communications manager at Allianz.

Overall, over two-thirds (74%) of those surveyed nationally still drive a petrol or diesel car with only 10% driving either a hybrid or electric vehicle. 26% of those surveyed said environmental reasons would be the main benefit in considering an electric car, while a further 27% advised the cost saving on fuel would be the main driver, suggesting the cost of living crisis and sustainability are key determining factors when it comes to EV adoption in Ireland.

“Sustainability is an important part of all our futures, which requires joint effort from the public, Government, and industry to play their part in helping turn the dial in favour of sustainable practices. With the right measures and resources in place to help us shift our approach to sustainable everyday practices, we believe the ownership of electric and hybrid cars will increase in the near future,” Hedin said.

With purchase costs and range anxiety cited as the biggest drawbacks to purchasing an electric car at 39% and 34% respectively, conjunction with supports from across Government and industry, will play an important role in mitigating EV adoption concerns and support a more sustainable transport future.

Other organisations such as the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) encourage prospective EV drivers to consider the overall cost of ownership when it comes to electric vehicles. This may require weighing up the positives and negatives of driving an electric car before making your decision is important.

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.