Study: Buyers 23% More Likely to Choose Electric if Electricity Comes From a Renewable Resource

12 months ago by Eric Loveday 9

Hydro is One Renewable Energy Source

Hydro is One Renewable Energy Source

According to a recent study publish in Environmental Research Letters (ERL), buyers in both the US and Canada care where electricity comes from when debating whether or not purchase an electric vehicle.

Wind is One More

Wind is One More

The study shows that there was a 23% increase in demand for plug-ins knew that some sort of green electricity would charge their electric vehicle.

The study is based upon a rather extensive survey of 3 groups of buyers: conventional new vehicle buyers; hybrid vehicle buyers; and plug-in electric vehicle buyers.

The questions posed went something like this:

  1. How interesting are you in purchasing a plug in as your next vehicle?
  2. How interested are you in “green” electricity?
  3. How interested would you be in purchasing a plug-in vehicle if “green” electricity would charge it?

The responses obviously varied, but as John Axsen (a research partner involved with the study) states:

“We found that combining, for example, a solar-cell system installation with the sale of a PEV made it a more attractive purchase. We were expecting a small increase in interest, but did not expect a 23% increase in demand from conventional car buyers.”

Furthermore, a full one-third of conventional vehicle buyers value combining a plug-in with green electricity.  As expected, that one-third figure jumped much higher when the researchers surveyed current hybrid or plug-in vehicle owners.

One additional finding jumped out at us a bit.  Of those surveyed, most cited saving money as the reason they were considering a plug-in vehicle.  Local air pollution was mentioned quite often, too.  This would seem to indicate that the general public is finally starting to understand the cost benefits of going electric.  If true, then perhaps the EV revolution is closer than previously thought.

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9 responses to "Study: Buyers 23% More Likely to Choose Electric if Electricity Comes From a Renewable Resource"

  1. Mark H says:

    Good on Ya Eric

  2. Anderlan says:

    That windmills in the sunset pic is a very lazy photoshop of ONE windmill.

  3. Cavaron says:

    1. How interested are you in purchasing a plug in as your next vehicle?

    2. How interested are you in organic beer?

    3. How interested would you be in purchasing a plug-in vehicle if it came with a barrel of organic beer?

    I wonder what this survey could find out…

  4. Foo says:

    I wonder what most people would think about EVs if they knew the following three simple facts:

    1) The average gasoline-powered car can travel about 25 miles on 1 gallon of gasoline.

    2) About 7 kWh of electricity (not to mention lots of other energy) is consumed (and pollution produced) in the production of 1 gallon of gasoline.

    3) The average EV can travel at least 25 miles directly on that same 7 kWh of electricity.

    Put another way, we could cease gasoline production right now and have *more* than enough electricity left over for the equivalent amount of travel using EVs (assuming we could magically convert all gas-powered cars into electric).

    Ultimately it doesn’t matter what the source of electricity is, driving an EV is many times more efficient than driving a gasoline-powered car. Period. In the grand scheme of things, anybody driving a gasoline-powered car is wasting huge amounts of energy unnecessarily — much of it *before* the gasoline even reaches their tank!

    No matter how you slice it, the gasoline industry is an incredibly wasteful “middle-man” between the available energy and its use for transportation.

  5. Priusmaniac says:

    What would they say on the following questions?

    Would you purchase a gasoline car?
    Would you purchase a Middle East gasoline car?
    Would you purchase a disaster Niger delta oil spill and murder gasoline car?

    1. Tom A. says:

      oooh, this is a toughy…hmmm…I’ll go with the third one, thanks! ;-)

  6. Tom A. says:

    Well, I’m a hybrid buyer (no plugs back in 2010). When I first heard about opting for a renewable energy rider on my electric utility bill a few years ago, I got it. I pay an additional 1.5% on my consumption (basically, an additional $.15 per kWh).

    I’m looking into SunPower solar panels, and my next car will be a Tesla.

    1. Foo says:

      You mean $.015 per kWh?