Survey: American’s Intention To Purchase An EV In Next 12 Months Surges To 5.1%

4 years ago by Jay Cole 16

Portion Of US Population Considering Buying An EV By Age

Portion Of US Population Considering Buying An EV By Age

A new survey for April from Zpryme’s Smart Grid Insights says that US consumer sentiment towards EVs has increased quite significantly so far in 2013.

Maybe What We Need Is A Buick PHEV To Get The Seniors On Board With EVs

Maybe What We Need Is A Buick PHEV To Get The Seniors On Board With EVs

And while a full 87.6% of Americans still want nothing to do with buying or leasing an electric vehicle, 5.1% say they are “very likely” to purchase a EV during the next 12 months.

Considering that the recovering U.S. auto industry is expected to sell 15.5 million vehicles this year (thanks to easier access to financing and consumer confidence), if 5.1% of the population followed through on their intention to buy an EV, that number would equal 790,500 sales.

Considering only 18,000 sales have been made through the first 3 months of the year, we find this number is quite likely over-exaggerated by a factor of at least 7 or 8 by survey respondents.  InsideEVs expects 2013 plug-in sales to finish just under 100,000 units.

Still, the survey shows that new plug-in offerings, along with some recent price-reductions in the plug-in sector are definitely having an affect on the mindset of the American population when it comes to at least serious considering an electric vehicle solution.

US Sentiment Toward EVs Surges Upward In April Of 2013

US Sentiment Toward EVs Surges Upward In April Of 2013

The survey does allow for some serious external factors perhaps being responsible for the high percentage result; namely higher gasoline prices of late, and President Obama’s 2 billion Energy Security Trust program, along with a proposal to increase the current $7,500 plug-in incentive credit to a point-of-sale $10,000 rebate.

The Survey Found These Key Findings:

  • 5.1% said they were ‘very likely’ to purchase or lease an all (EV) or hybrid plug-in elective vehicle (PHEV) over the next 12 months.
  • 18 – 24 years old were most likely to indicate that they were going to buy/lease an EV at 16.9%
  • More males (5.1%) than females (5.0%) said they were ‘very likely’ to buy/lease and EV
  • 93.3% of 55-64 year-olds unlikely to purchase
  • West Coasters most like to consider purchasing an EV overall at 9.4%

Overall Demos Considering A Plug-In Purchase:

  • 87.6% reported they were not likely to buy/lease
  • 5.1% said they were very likely to buy/lease
  • 3.3% saying they were somewhat likely to buy/lease

It should be noted that we find the sample size of 1,010 U.S. adults surveyed during March of 2013 to be more than a little small.  However, we can still reasonably draw the conclusion that more and more Americans are getting comfortable with electric transportation each and every month, and future sales for 2013 should continue to grow.

Smart Grid Research

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16 responses to "Survey: American’s Intention To Purchase An EV In Next 12 Months Surges To 5.1%"

  1. Gene says:

    I don’t really know, but I’ll venture a guess that the survey sample was biased in that people who didn’t care at all about EVs were less likely even to be willing to take the survey. Systematics like this are difficult to account for.

    Another perspective from my experience: I would’ve answered two years ago that I expected to buy one within a year. But I hesitated due to a variety of factors and I only just purchased last week. And I don’t think I was alone, so a survey taken 2 years ago probably would’ve overestimated the actual sales that year too.

    Anyhow, it’s great to see that there is interest! Interest drives commitments and innovations.

  2. kdawg says:

    “Still, the survey shows that new plug-in offerings, along with some recent price-reductions in the plug-in sector are definitely having an affect on the mindset of the American population when it comes to at least serious considering an electric vehicle solution.”
    ————————————-

    I would say word of mouth and testimonials by current EV drivers is probably the biggest contributor to this increase. As people become more familiar with EV’s, they are more likely to picture themselves in one.

  3. David Murray says:

    The big problem is that 80% of consumers are still totally ignorant that an EV exists and if you ask them “do you plan to buy an EV” they probably either think of a golf cart, or some funny-looking little car with a top speed of 45 mph. When the see an electric car going down the road, they don’t even notice and assume it is a gasoline car.

    If there were more charging stations in popular locations like malls and movie theaters, people would see these cars plugged in and charging. And after seeing that often enough, it will start to click in their mind that they too could be driving an electric car.

    1. Josh says:

      I agree that the knowledge of EVs is still extremely low amongst the general population. The two most common questions I get after saying I drive an EV (LEAF) are “So what kind of gas mileage do you get?” and “Oh yeah, like a Prius?” [plant hand firmly on forehead]

      I drove a work colleague (engineer no less) to the airport once, and it was only after I said, “So how did you like the ride of the EV?” did he realize what he was riding in. Then proceeded to start taking pictures with his cell phone.

      I sometimes park in a rarely used Blink station at a nearby shopping center and plug-in, even though I don’t need any juice, just so people will see the spot occupied by something other than an ICE. I have on several occasions found people waiting/staring at my car when I returned.

      Unfortunately, educating the public just takes time…

      1. Mark H says:

        That is right Josh, education is the key. I entertain myself by speaking to local rotary clubs about EVs. They love it if only for the education.

        But the real take away from this article was.” Did Mr. I don’t make public estimations anymore just make a public estimation of 100,000 EVs?” \ /

        1. Josh says:

          Haha. I think if put on the spot, Mr. (I don’t make predictions) Cole would refer you to my article, bravely (stupidly) making 2013 sales predictions and reiterate that those in no way reflect his own sentiment.

          Great catch Mark!

  4. Voice of Reason says:

    Not sure about those numbers, the USDOT (2010) says there are about 160,000,000 licensed drivers between the ages of 25-65 (the most likely age of purchases). 5.1% means 8,160,000 are saying they are very likely to buy an EV? 18-24 is really suspect information. There are 9,500,000 licensed 18-24 year olds and if 16.9% are planning to buy, that is 1.6 million right there. The chance of this age group having the money to purchase an EV today is very slim. My guess is that this is a flawed survey by a company catering towards green economy websites and products.

  5. Things That Make You Say Hmmm... says:

    Does EV = Hybrid’s AND EV’s? They are two totally different types of vehicles. I wonder how many people in the survery know the difference?

    1. kdawg says:

      And there’s a dif between strong hybids, weak hybrids, and plug-in hybrids.

  6. Greg says:

    I beleive if the $10,000 comes as a rebate verses a non-refundable tax credit, it may influence intrested seniors on Social Security. Most seniors that would consider a compact car vs. a Buick, don’t have a tax liability of $7500.00 to claim. A senior without additional income source typically has -0- federal tax liability. I know for a fact- this is my case. Living in Louisiana, I would qualify for the maximum $3000.00 State REFUNDABLE rebate. That makes the electric compacts not the financially responsible choice for my age group- the fixed income, reduced cost of living, increasing medicare premium(Obama proposal) group. Very disappointing since electric vehicles fit the dailiy driving habits of Senior Citizens perfectly. I have not driven over 75 miles in a day in 5 years. Beleive it or not there are Seniors with iPhones and all the apps to keep up with the future. And they have garages on their house just ready for a charging station. Don’t beleive everything AARP says about we forward thinking golden oldies!

    1. Josh says:

      Greg,

      Look into the lease deals for EVs. They usually build in the tax credit value into the lease and you can get a fixed purchase price at the end of the lease. This hedges your risk on the resale value of the vehicle for the lease term (typically 36-39 months), while retaining your right to purchase it outright at the end, and getting the full benefit of the credit.

      1. Greg says:

        Thanks Josh. Ihaven’t checked into leases recently. The $199 lease had not come out when I was doing my research. At this point I’ll wait to see if the $10,000 makes it through the political machine.

  7. Cavaron says:

    “It should be noted that we find the sample size of 1,010 U.S. adults surveyed during March of 2013 to be more than a little small.”

    As a sociologist I have to disagree. Rule book to polls says:

    A poll with a random sample of 1,000 people has a margin of sampling error of 3%. The margin of error can be reduced by using a larger sample, however if a pollster wishes to reduce the margin of error to 1% they would need a sample of around 10,000 people. In practice, pollsters need to balance the cost of a large sample against the reduction in sampling error and a sample size of around 500–1,000 is a typical compromise.

    1. Gene says:

      I have a brother and father who are sociologists, and as a physical sciences guy myself, I fully understand the 1000 -> 3% statistical uncertainty rule, but I never understand how systematics are controlled, and they never appear to be reported.

  8. Anderlan says:

    Does this even break out the people who have no plans to replace or add ANY vehicle at all this year?