Current EVs such as Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV do not yet have the electric range customers want

A survey of potential European electric-vehicle buyers found that most would expect a battery-powered range of 480km before recharging.

The survey, carried out by consultants Deloitte, found that 74 pc of 4,760 Europeans polled in late January and early February considered such a range a precondition for the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle.

Deloitte considered 16 pc of those interviewed "potential first movers" when it comes to buying an electric vehicle. They were generally between 18 and 34 years old, knowledgeable about EVs, concerned about the environment and politically active.

A much larger 51 pc of European consumers polled were seen as possibly willing to consider an EV purchase or lease. These people were concerned about the environment and dependence on foreign oil; they see EVs and as green but find them expensive; and they know less about EVs than the first group.

Around 58 pc of those who might conssider buying an EV expected to pay less than 15,000 euros, net of government incentives. A roughly equal percentage said they would expect to pay the same or less than they would pay normally, while 9 percent was willing to pay at most a 400 euro premium.