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Vast Majority of Hungarians Would opt for new Hybrid or EV

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Some 72% of Hungarian car buyers say they would pick either a hybrid or electric car the next time they purchase a vehicle, while 28% would still opt for a petrol or diesel car.

The latest findings from the 2021-2022 EIB Climate Survey explore people’s views on climate change in a rapidly shifting world. Among other results for Hungary:

• 79% of Hungarians feel they are doing all they can to fight climate change in their daily lives, but the majority believe that their compatriots are not doing the same

• 68% of Hungarians say they consider climate change when choosing a holiday destination

• 58% of young Hungarians consider climate change when looking for a job

• 55% of young Hungarians already buy second-hand clothes instead of new ones

Hybrid, EVs in Demand

When asked about future car purchases, 72% of Hungarian car buyers say they would choose either a hybrid or a fully electric vehicle. This figure is 44 points higher than the percentage of Hungarians who said they would buy a diesel or petrol vehicle (28%). More specifically, 37% would purchase a hybrid auto, while 35% would opt for an EV.

Interestingly, Hungarian car buyers aged 65 and older are particularly interested in purchasing an EV (54%), while young respondents are more likely to choose a petrol or diesel vehicle (38%).

This figure is 30 points above the figure for car buyers older than 65 (only 8% of them say they would buy a petrol or diesel vehicle). One possible explanation for this is cost, with EVs having a higher price ticket and seniors having more disposable income.

Hybrid vehicles would be the top choice for Hungarians aged 30-64: 40% would opt for a hybrid car, 13 points above the figure for people younger than 30 (27%).

Meanwhile, 22% of the overall Hungarian population say they do not have a vehicle now and are not planning to buy one (nine points above the EU average).

Looking at the regional picture for switching to hybrids or EVs, Hungarians seem as inclined to embrace new car technologies as Croatians (73%) and Poles (73%) but more willing to do so compared to Austrians (51%) and Czech respondents (48%).

More specifically, Hungarian car buyers seem most inclined to choose a hybrid car for their next vehicle, with 37% of them stating their next auto will have this type of engine, similar to Croatians (36%). Hungarians seem more inclined to opt for a hybrid than the Czechs (31%) and Austrians (28%). However, Hungarians appear less ready to choose a hybrid than Poles (46%).

Hungarian auto buyers seem to be as inclined to purchase an EV (35%) as Croatians (37%). The average figure Eastern Europeans (for this survey including include Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) is 30%, with Poles (27%), Austrians (23%) and notably Czechs (17%) finding EVs less attractive.

Globally, Chinese car buyers are the most inclined to buy an EV (44%).

European car buyers tend to favor hybrids (39%), while petrol or diesel vehicles are ranked second (33%) and EVs come third (28%). Americans express an almost identical preference: hybrids 38%, petrol or diesel 33%, EVs 29%.

Holiday Flights

Some 68% of Hungarians say they consider climate change when choosing their holiday destination. This concern is even more substantial amongst people younger than 30 at 70%. However, more than one-third of young people (34%) say they will fly for their summer holidays in 2022, compared to 17% for people aged 30-64 and 9% for those 65 and above. More than one-fifth of the under 30s (22%, compared to 9% for people aged 30-64 and 5% for those 65 and above) say they will fly long haul.

Climate Considerations

Elsewhere, 54% of Hungarians say they buy second-hand clothes instead of new ones (12 points above the EU average). Women are more likely to do so than men (59% for women vs. 47% for men).

Forty-nine percent of Hungarian people consider climate change when searching for a job. This is particularly the case for 15-29 year-olds: 58% of them take climate change into consideration when job hunting, compared to 48% of people aged 30-64.

Overall, 53% of Hungarians say they consider climate change when choosing their bank or investing their savings.

EIB vice president Teresa Czerwińska notes that Hungarian habits are clearly changing, albeit with some generational differences evident.

“Despite some clear generational gaps, Hungarian people are increasingly adapting their mobility and consumption habits in a more sustainable manner to tackle climate change,” she says.

“These shifts in individual behavior show that people of all ages are willing to make stronger commitments in their daily lives to help mitigate the climate crisis. These intentions were voiced during [the U.N. Climate Conference in Glasgow] COP26 and are a clear indicator of support for our efforts to foster the green transition,” Czerwińska says.

“Hungary was the first EU member state to ratify the Paris Agreement and the fact that its citizens are also ready to act is a sign of their understanding of the importance of climate action for the safe and sustainable future of our planet,” she adds.

“As the EU climate bank, one of the EIB’s key roles is to finance innovative projects that focus on electric mobility as well as other sustainable mobility solutions that help build a decarbonized future for all,” Czerwińska adds.

About the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU member states. It makes long-term finance available for sound investments to contribute to EU policy goals in Europe and beyond. Despite its HQ being in Luxembourg, the EIB is active in around 160 countries and says it is the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects.

About the EIB Climate Survey

This is the fourth edition of the European Investment Bank Climate Survey, a thorough assessment of how people feel about climate change. Conducted in partnership with market research firm BVA, the latest EIB Climate Survey aims to inform the broader debate on attitudes and expectations in terms of climate action. More than 30,000 respondents participated in the survey between Aug. 26 and Sep. 22, 2021, with a representative panel for each of the 30 countries polled.

About BVA

BVA is an opinion research and consulting firm recognized as one of the most innovative in its sector. Specializing in behavioral marketing, BVA combines data science and social science to bring its results to life and make them inspiring. BVA is a member of the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research (WIN), a global network of leading market research and survey players, with more than 40 members.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of February 11, 2022.

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