Global: Giving up cars
April 21st, 2022, Christien Pheby

Global: Giving up cars

In the automotive sector, the debate over climate change has progressed beyond electric vehicles in many countries – a number of which have explicit mandates to end the manufacture of new fossil fuel vehicles and introduce electric vehicles within a certain timeframe. Looking forward, the conversation has expanded to include exploring solar-powered cars, alternative forms of transportation such as e-scooters, and the idea of giving up cars entirely.

Global YouGov data explores consumer attitudes towards the idea of abandoning cars outright. The findings show that, on average across 18 markets, consumers are more likely to consider it than not (42% agree they would abandon cars given a convenient alternative; 26% disagree). But there are significant differences between individual regions and nations.


Mexicans are in pole position: here consumers are most likely to embrace the idea (66% vs. 11%), with Italians (57% vs. 20%) and Spaniards (54% vs. 20%) next highest in terms of overall agreement. This isn’t a trend specific to the Americas or Europe: US consumers (29% vs. 42%) are most hesitant to abandon cars followed by Canadians (35% vs. 33%) and Swedes (36% vs. 34%). The only major regional trend we can identify is that consumers in Asia are more positive about the idea than negative (perhaps owing to higher population densities in certain countries): in India (48% vs. 18%), China (45% vs. 17%), Singapore (47% vs. 10%), and Hong Kong (47% vs. 11%), and Indonesia (44% vs. 31%) the public are more willing to put motor vehicles in the rear view mirror than not.


The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 18 markets with sample sizes varying for each market. All interviews were conducted online in February 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.

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