Pike Research Suggests Public Interest In Plug-In Cars May Have Peaked At 40%

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 6

More People Would Apparently Consider a Ford PEV Over GM, But Both Trail Toyota

Pike Research does a lot of public opinion surveys on electric vehicles.  Unfortunately, its latest effort shows that perhaps some interest has been lost in plug-in electric vehicles.

Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of consumers participating in Pike Research’s annual survey that identified themselves as “extremely interested” or “very interested” in PEVs fell from 40% of the respondents to 36%.”

Pike Research Maps Out Interest In Plug-In Electric Vehicles Today (Click to Enlarge)

Pike does note that this is not a huge variation, and given this was a web-based survey of just over 1,000 consumers in the US, the +/- margin of error may in fact be greater than the discrepancy.  Still, every data point on the segment has some value.

Pike Research estimates that the total sales of electric vehicles, both fully electric and extended range hybrid, will be 47,966 for 2012, and notes an anticipated growth rate of 30% from today until 2020.  At that pace, sales in 2015 would number 105,381 and 391,273 in 2020.

Conclusion by Pike?

“While this decrease is not staggering, it does indicate that auto manufacturers will need to make improvements in PEVs in order to attract buyers in larger numbers. It also indicates that manufacturers need to do a better job of educating consumers about the benefits of PEVs and making these cars more relevant to the end user.”

Other points of interest in the survey:

  • Early adopters of technology were almost twice as likely to be interested in PEVs as the average consumer. Self-identified Democrats were somewhat more likely than Republicans (41% vs. 31%) to state they were extremely or very interested in PEVs.
  • Consumers continue to cite insufficient driving range as a reason they are not interested in PEVs, followed by a desire for the technology to develop further before committing to purchasing a PEV. However, this latter reason saw a significant decline from 2011.
  • When asked which vehicle brands they would consider for a PEV, respondents continued to gravitate toward the same five brands in 2012. Toyota (50%) and Ford (43%) remain in the top two spots, followed by Chevrolet, Honda (both 42%), and Nissan (34%).
  • More than a third of respondents did not agree that PEVs are much cheaper to own than a gasoline vehicle. Almost half disagreed that PEVs are exciting to drive and own.
  • More than a third of respondents stated they believe that PEV batteries are dangerous and 4 in 10 stated that PEVs often leave their owners stranded when they run out of power.

Pike Research via Green Car Congress

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6 responses to "Pike Research Suggests Public Interest In Plug-In Cars May Have Peaked At 40%"

  1. James says:

    Nothing is new under the sun…no nothing is new.

    This is the same ole, same ole – the variation is not large enough

    to really show any change.

    Any burp in the Middle East, or an all-out whack like Iran firing off a nuke

    toward Israel will create all the impetus needed for gasoline to become

    gold and lines to form at the pump. People I survey really are at an end

    to the rising and falling of gas prices – and yes, they do not realize how

    amazing of a piece a Tesla Model S is compared to it’s like-priced

    German, Japanese and British brethren. Strangely, the society that doesn’t

    miss a beat when the iPad Mini, Nexus 4 or Microsoft Surface surfaces still

    largely doesn’t get how a PHEV or EREV work!

    It’s a consumer-based economy and consumers buy economical

    cars because they feel they have to. Prius owners are halfway there

    already – and adding a plug is not a huge leap for them – and they

    are legion.

    It also nearly bears no repeating that when the MSRP of a car with

    plug goes down – the sales charts will go up up up.

    Momentum is a strange thing, and ICE cars have been in the minds

    of us all for generations. PHEVs and EVs just need a little push

    and the momentum will astonish all the poll takers, Pike included.

    1. Peter Gorrie says:

      Last January, when Pike published its 2011 number (40 per cent) it also stated: “In the first edition, conducted in 2009, 48% of respondents stated that they would be “extremely” or “very” interested in purchasing a PEV. In 2010 that number declined moderately to 44% and in 2011 it fell further to 40%.”
      So the decline (48 to 36) is more significant than the two-year numbers suggest.

      1. Roy_H says:

        Good point. I think this decline is due to the prices. In 2009 most thought EVs would be about $30k, and now the reality of $40k has dampened spirits.

  2. Brian says:

    “Pike Research estimates that the total sales of electric vehicles, both fully electric and extended range hybrid, will be 47,966 for 2012, and notes an anticipated growth rate of 30% from today until 2012.”

    First off, that’s awfully precise for an estimate. Why not 48,000?

    Secondly, I think this is a typo: “from today until 2012”. Did you mean until 2020?

    1. staff says:

      47,966 sounds more scientific?

      Yes “from today until 2012″ should have read to 2020. Corrected now, thanks.

  3. Roy_H says:

    40% is a huge market. If prices were lower, then these 40% would fulfill their dream and plug-ins would massively successful.