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News | 14 February 2024

Are Europeans slowing down their sustainability efforts?

Residents of cities across the continent are still prioritising convenience over sustainability, with most still finding EVs too expensive.

  • Over 90% of residents of Istanbul, Lisbon and Barcelona find EV’s too expensive
  • 9 out of 10 of residents in Istanbul would like to see more EV charging stations, compared to the 75% of Germans in Berlin, who want less
  •  Most Europeans believe there has been a rise in road traffic accidents since the introduction of e-mobility – mostly in bike friendly cities such as Amsterdam and Helsinki
  • 60% of Londoners and 55% of Parisians agree that electric bicycles and scooters should be banned from the city

London, 8th February 2024 – Despite pressure from governments and car manufacturers alike, Europeans are still hesitant to invest in e-mobility. In a new survey* by Cyclomedia, a world leader in digital visualisation of outdoor spaces, data reveals residents in major EMEA cities are still prioritising travel convenience over sustainability. The data also suggests that negativity continues to grow towards the cost of EV’s, with many residents unable to commit to the higher price-point. Across the board of 25 cities, over half deem EV’s to be too expensive, with a staggering 91% of respondents in Istanbul unable to keep up with the rising costs. The study, that surveyed 25 cities including residents in Madrid, Paris, Warsaw, Berlin and London, to name a few, on mobility and traffic safety, also revealed that 85% of Londoners believe there should be more charging stations around the capital – making it more convenient for EV drivers to move around.  

The rise of e-mobility comes at a cost

As each country works towards their own environmental goals, metropolitan cities all over Europe are now encouraging the use of electric bikes and scooters to reduce the amount of traffic and harmful CO₂ emissions. 

However, despite this, 60% of Londoners, as well as 56% of Parisians believe these solutions should be banned, with a further three quarters of residents in cities such as Amsterdam, Helsinki and Stockholm believing there has been an increase of traffic accidents since the introduction of these solutions. In response to this, resident in Rome (74%), Berlin (72%) and Milan (63%) state that not enough action is being taken to improve road safety, with 85% deeming the cause to be the poor quality of roads in locations such as Rome and Budapest. 

Room for improvement

Despite the above worries, there are also encouraging signs of progress. Over half of residents (63%) in Italian hot spots like Milan and Rome do actively consider sustainability when travelling. These cities are leading the charge amongst the other list of top 10 locations that are actively embracing electric transport alongside residents in Paris (49%), Oslo (54%), Barcelona (54%) and Madrid (51%).

Elizabeth Evans, Sales Manager UK at Cyclomedia, says: "The survey results offer valuable insights into European residents' perspectives on sustainability and road safety. It's evident that there is a reluctance to fully embrace sustainable transport due to concerns about convenience, safety, and cost. If governments wish to encourage a more dedicated commitment to sustainability, the initial focus should be on making the transition easier and safer."

 She adds, "Local authorities should prioritise safety measures, especially around busy intersections and roundabouts, to address fears of increased road traffic accidents caused by e-mobility solutions. Simultaneously, it's important that governments reassess EV charging strategies to increase adoption of sustainable transport. This twofold approach will encourage active travel while ensuring a safe and seamless transition to eco-friendly transport alternatives."