E2 Survey Points to Possible Bleak Future for Electric Vehicles

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 13

Plug-Ins Are the Future...Despite What Some Silly Survey Says

Plug-Ins Are the Future…Despite What Some Silly Survey Says

Market Strategies International recently put out its New E2 (Energy + Environment) research data based on a survey it conducted earlier this year.

The Future is Electric

The Future is Electric

Though Market Strategies International doesn’t provide much in the way of explaining its survey methodologies, we do know that the research firm conducted a near-identical survey two years ago, so we can at least view these figures with some perspective.

The latest New e2 survey claims that American consumers are becoming less optimistic about electric vehicles and that their expectations of EV ownership are declining.

“Currently, 48 percent of respondents do not think they will be driving an electric vehicle within the next ten years, while 41 percent consider themselves likely to do so. Two years ago in a similar survey, 46 percent said they would likely drive an EV within a decade.”

46 % down to 41%…perhaps not a meaningful decline, but still a drop nonetheless.

Jack Lloyd, senior vice president of  the Energy Division at Market Strategies, stated:

“Past E2 surveys have identified practical considerations, such as battery life and charging infrastructure, as important consumer concerns.  Now that EVs are not just futuristic concepts but actual products available in the marketplace, these considerations seem more tangible and are having a more pronounced effect on purchase interest.”

Surprisingly, two-thirds of the survey respondents says that local utilities “should begin working and investing now to assure that the needed infrastructure will be in place for convenient recharging of electric vehicles.”

Lloyd adds:

“Interestingly, consumers seem to be getting less inclined to invest in an electric vehicle for their own use, but many do want their local electric utilities to support the development of an electric vehicle market.  Only one in five consumers thinks that their utility is a meaningful source of information on the vehicles themselves, but more than half think that utilities should be building EV charging infrastructure, introducing subsidized EV charging rates and working with governments to implement pro-EV policies.”

These findings are suspect to us.  We do indeed find it odd that only 41% of the respondents say they would likely drive and EV within the next decade, yet 66% want utility companies to support EVs.  What this says to us is that consumers seem unwilling to spend the money to buy a plug-in, yet have no issue with utilities spending tons to support them.

Kinda an odd way of showing lukewarm support for EVs…Don’t you think?

Market Strategies

Tags: , ,

13 responses to "E2 Survey Points to Possible Bleak Future for Electric Vehicles"

  1. David Murray says:

    41% is a great number. I’d be thrilled if 41% of people were driving EVs within 10 years. That doesn’t sound all that bad to me!

  2. Martin T says:

    Did the survey ask people if they are willing to use Hybrids eg. the non plug in Honda Accord 2014. It still is an EV when you get down to it and it may be acceptable as it’s not so radical for the average family person on the street ?

    Or….

    Is this survey reflecting what rest of the world guesses that the divide between rich and poor American’s is growing and hence their dreams / desire to own EV plugin is shrinking?

    If history is anything to go by if the financial gap gets too big, there might be an unexpected “re-calibration” of Wealth so to speak and EV’s may long term be much more practical / accessible commodity for the American public.

    1. Mark H says:

      I agree with your first point Martin. I know our mantra here is “only with a plug” but the hybrid is our brother and will pave much of the way.

      I can’t help but feel what Eric was feeling with the double standard of the data. Sounds like the Utility companies might have had something to do with the wording of the question.

      I often feel that the BEV sector that cries for the needed infrastructure sometimes unintentionally hurts the cause. I think it is great to go full BEV if it fits your needs. This is the future. In the mean time, you can overcome a lot of the hurdles with an EREV. Even Renault is giving into that logic and I did not think they would ever do that.

  3. Marshal G says:

    I’d say it’s because the Model S gets all the press, and in most consumers’ minds an EV is just a $70-100k plaything of the rich. As soon as somebody comes out with a $35k 200 mile EV then that misconception will start to go away.

  4. pjwood says:

    Almost sounds like people want utilities to seek a profitable business building chargers. That’s a presumption, right there. Profits aren’t coming, unless its shoppers. Urban areas need to work with utilities to double the effective AER, with destination charging. That means public, not utility, investment. Not with a profit mindset, anyway.

    I thought the article was going to take the position the buying public is souring on ZEV credits, which if too high could still be a force destroying EV adoption, IMO. Pro-EV auto journalist are some of the most common to point this out. There is a price that is too high, and Tesla’s ZEV revenue/Units looks awfully rich right now. Rich enough to keep haunting them.

  5. Thomas N Thias says:

    Well, Research Forecasters can spin data anyway that best suits the client.

    Another forecast angle comes from Pew Research. Now under the banner of Navagant Research.

    http://www.navigantresearch.com/research/electric-vehicle-market-forecasts

    Pew Study broken down by the United States Department of Energy.

    “22,000,000 Plug In Cars world wide by 2020!

    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/m/news_detail.html?news_id=19277

    Best-

    Thomas J. Thias

    Twitter/AmazingChevVolt

  6. This reminds me of the story about Steve Wozniak, who went to his bosses at Hewlett Packard with the design for an inexpensive single-board PC. HP dismissed the concept saying: We’ve done lots of surveys, Steve. Consumers don’t want a computer. They don’t even know what they would do with one.

    Which was completely accurate, and completely the wrong strategy.

    When the general public become aware of all the advantages of EVs, manufacturers will not be able to keep up with demand.

    Who, once aware of the facts, would not want:

    A car that costs 75% lower fuel costs – enough
    to cover the lease payments for at least five of the EVs on offer today.

    A car that uses domestically sourced fuel, that can come from renewable resources.

    A car that is smoother, quieter and more responsive than its gas counterpart.

    A car that requires almost no maintenance. No oil changes, no tuneups, and brake pads that last 100k miles at least.

    True enough that most people would like more range. But that will be available in 2015, and the expanding Quick Charge buildout makes range less of a concern every month. Many people already rent cars for the once a year family vacation, as they are now cheap and many people realize that their daily commuter is not necessarily the best touring car available.

    Conducting surveys with people who have never experienced the benefits of EVs is a bit of a pointless exercise.

    The pev segment is growing at 100% a year. We’ll all look back on this period in time the same way we remember the Internet in 1992 – pre www.

    We are just about to hit the J curve.

  7. Spec9 says:

    People don’t know what they’ll be doing 2 years from now. It all depends on the price of batteries and the price of gasoline.

  8. Lad says:

    No study necessary…BEV sales will be directly proportional to the capabilities of the new traction batteries.

    If the DOE’s JCESAR Program at Argonne Labs meets its goals, we could be there within five years.

    However, the biggest impediment to this milestone is the current Congress, mostly Republicans who are dependent on The Fossil Fuels Industries for campaign funding and do their bidding for the money. I wonder if someone, some day will address the effect our election system and the political fall out has had on innovation…remember the EV-1?; just one example.

  9. Thomas N Thias says:

    Statistics, studied assesments, free flowing gathered facts… A Eric Lovejoy byline to call out the swarms of #antiEVZombies that swarm cyberspace- and now, from the Britts- Yet another study, free of Bjorn Lomborg influence!
    “80% Of EV Trial Drivers Open To Ditching Gasmobiles”
    Source- (OLEU), (TBS), (ULCU) From, EVObsession-

    http://evobsession.com/80-ev-trial-drivers-open-ditching-gasmobiles/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EVObsession+%28EV+Obsession%29

    Best-
    Thomas J. Thias

    The Amazing Chevy Volt EREV- Facts Guy

    Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt

    Twitter.com/AmazingChevyVolt

  10. Gadge says:

    I HAVE a crystal ball and it tells me EV’s will ultimately prevail. Well, OK, what I actually have is a bald head, but my head tells me that inevitably market forces will move people toward the electric car…the only debatable issue is at what pace! I’m the owner of the first LEAF sold in Maine.

  11. kdawg says:

    What was the price of gas 2 years ago?

  12. Charles Gaba says:

    Reminds me quite a bit of this scene from The West Wing:

    http://youtu.be/u4pB5_0AUVk

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the 4% “drop”. There’s always going to be a certain number of people who say “Yes, absolutely!” to any cool-sounding new gizmo that you ask them about, but who would never actually buy whatever it is once push comes to shove. My guess is that only about 25% of the respondents 2 years ago were serious about their answer then…and the same 25% are still serious about it today. On the plus side, a decent chunk of the “No” respondents very well may end up buying an EV after all, so there you go.