Parents, Children unite on Future of EVs: ABB E-Mobility survey of families in 10 nations

Sept. 29, 2022
At nearly 83 percent of those children say they certainly intend to drive electric or hybrid vehicles when they are old enough. Nearly 95 percent of Chinese children in the survey’s 8-year to 16-year range plant to drive an EV or hybrid by then

The kids are all right with electrification of the family car.

A unique new survey by ABB E-Mobility, in time for World EV Day celebrated Thursday, indicates that a majority of parents are being educated on environmental issues by their children. Some 2,500 parents and the same number of children ages 8-16 were participants in the survey that reached out to Canada, China, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

We keep hearing the electric vehicle revolution is coming, and some of us believe it. In addition to Tesla, legacy automakers such as GM, Ford, Toyota and Nissan are putting billions of dollars into creating an EV marketplace which may outpace internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040. Others say the grid is not ready and the marketplace not up to speed.

Time will tell, but most of these respondents seem to be teaching their children well--or maybe it's the other way around. At least the young ones think so—80 percent of children surveyed by ABB E-Mobility say they influence their parents’ purchasing decisions on big-ticket items such as changing the family car.

And nearly 83 percent of those children say they certainly intend to drive electric or hybrid vehicles when they are old enough. Automakers may want to start advertising on the Disney Channel to get the early birds.

“On World EV Day, it is encouraging to see the results of our global study reveal the excitement and determination of young people, as well as the increasing dialogue and action across generations, to move toward a low-carbon future,” Frank Muehlon, CEO for ABB E-Mobility, said in a statement with the survey.

Muehlon is also realistic and noted that many consumers still do not feel empowered to make those climate-friendly moves such as buying an EV. Nearly half of parents surveyed said their employer’s policies don’t support the switch to electric vehicles.

And yet nearly an equal number of both parents and children (between 79 and 73 percent, respectively) told ABB that they consider the current global environmental situation be negative now and in the near future.

“It is our hope that those in positions of power will work together to quickly implement electrification policies which enable a cleaner, greener society, just as we have committed to doing with our ABB Sustainability Strategy 2030,” Muehlon added.

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The excitement level for going electric on the road varies from country to country in the survey. Nearly 95 percent of Chinese children in the survey’s 8-year to 16-year range believe they will be driving an EV or hybrid when they are old enough.

U.S. EV ownership is still in early stages and growing exponentially. About one third of the U.S. respondents say that it was pressure from their children which helped them make the move to an EV or hybrid.

For more on the ABB World EV Day Parent-Children survey, click here.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]). 

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About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.