67% Of Survey Respondents In The US Are Interested In Electric Cars

JUN 5 2016 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 14

NRG eVgo Unveils CHAdeMO/CCS Fast Charger At Raley's Supermarket In Northern California

NRG eVgo Unveils CHAdeMO/CCS Fast Charger At Raley’s Supermarket In Northern California

Recently, a survey was conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Consumers Union.

The results of the survey show heavy interest in electric cars, with 67% of the respondents showing interest in electric vehicles.

Before diving into more survey results, here’s some background on who was surveyed:

“The survey was conducted among 1,213 randomly selected adults in California and 9 Northeast states who were licensed to drive and had driven a vehicle in the past 12 months. The survey was carried out from April 1 to April 8. The margin of error is 4 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level for questions asked of all respondents.”

More than half (56%) of those surveyed want every automaker to make available at least one electric car option in their lineup of models.

But when we look just at the responses from residents of California, we see an even greater demand for electric cars:

“Plug-in electric vehicle sales in California today represent only 3 percent of the new vehicle market, with a little over 20 vehicle models available from manufacturers. The survey shows that the electric market has real potential for bigger growth.”

“The survey results suggest how automakers may be able to turn interest into sales. More than 65 percent of Californians want to see automakers offer more electric options across a variety of classes, including sedans, SUVs and minivans…”

But perhaps the most promising discovery from the survey was the following:

“The survey also found that 44 percent of California households could use an electric vehicle with little or no change to their current driving habits and vehicle needs. Survey respondents met the criteria for using a typical plug-in hybrid EV available today if they have access to parking and an electrical outlet at home, need to carry 4 or fewer passengers, and do not need hauling or towing capability.”

Meaning there’s lot of room for more sales in California for sure. And across much of the rest of the U.S. too.

More details on the survey/results are included in the press release below and at this link.

In California, Survey Shows Strong Interest, Greater Potential for Electric Vehicles

New Survey Finds More Than Half of California Drivers Interested in Clean Vehicles
OAKLAND, Calif. More than half of California drivers are likely to consider an electric vehicle (EV) in their next vehicle purchase or lease, and more than 65 percent are interested in electric vehicles generally, according to a new survey released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.

“Many California consumers who might be looking for a new car this summer are primed and ready to purchase an electric vehicle,” said Don Anair, research and deputy director for the UCS Clean Vehicles Program. “These survey results should be encouraging news to automakers who are offering EVs or set to bring new vehicle models to market.”

“California’s blend of car culture, technology incubation, and environmental consciousness create potential for huge growth in EV sales.” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “There’s a real market opportunity for automakers to offer electric vehicles to the millions of California consumers who are ready to go electric.”

Plug-in electric vehicle sales in California today represent only 3 percent of the new vehicle market, with a little over 20 vehicle models available from manufacturers. The survey shows that the electric market has real potential for bigger growth.

The survey results suggest how automakers may be able to turn interest into sales. More than 65 percent of Californians want to see automakers offer more electric options across a variety of classes, including sedans, SUVs and minivans, and over half think that every automaker should offer a plug-in model for sale.

In addition to offering greater model choices, the survey also suggests that the availability of vehicles to test drive is critical to EV sales, as 86 percent of survey respondents said they wouldn’t buy a new vehicle without test-driving it first. Without a chance to test drive the vehicles, car buyers may not get a sense for why electric vehicles have some of the highest ownership satisfaction scores in Consumer Reports’ ratings (Tesla Model S at 97%, Chevy Volt at 82%, Nissan Leaf at 76%).

The survey also found that 44 percent of California households could use an electric vehicle with little or no change to their current driving habits and vehicle needs. Survey respondents met the criteria for using a typical plug-in hybrid EV available today if they have access to parking and an electrical outlet at home, need to carry 4 or fewer passengers, and do not need hauling or towing capability.

Automakers and state officials can also do a better job of letting drivers know about existing EV incentives. More than three quarters of California drivers didn’t know the state offers any plug-in electric vehicle incentives, and almost 80 percent weren’t aware of the federal EV tax credit. Together, these programs can lower the purchase price of a plug-in vehicle by over $10,000. Education about incentives is especially important as nearly 13 percent of respondents identified costs as a main barrier to purchasing an EV.

The survey was conducted among 1,213 randomly selected adults in California and 9 Northeast states who were licensed to drive and had driven a vehicle in the past 12 months. The survey was carried out from April 1 to April 8. The margin of error is 4 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level for questions asked of all respondents.

View an infographic about the survey findings and more information on the survey results here.

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.

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14 Comments on "67% Of Survey Respondents In The US Are Interested In Electric Cars"

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przemo_li

Maybe some article on Kalifornia ZEV programe and% of EVs required over time?

wavelet

The survey looks oddly defined to me.

It should be people who drive a car at least 3 times a week, not once a yeat, to rule out occasional users.

Also, that 44%; Is that “could use an electric vehicle as their only car, _instead of_ an ICE car, or “as one of the vehicles in the house”? If the latter, that number is low… It should be over 70%.

Nate

How do you figure over 70%? Commute distance? There are other dactors. Households with a parking spot with access to a power outlet is just over 50%. Don’t forget about renters or even many condo and townhome owners.

wavelet

My assumption is that these are people who already drive on an ongoing basis, so they’re not carless residents of urban SF, or people too poor to own a car; therefore they also have regular access to a parking spot.

I wasn’t thinking about the “need 120VAC outlet near car spot”, however — that is an issue.

However, if “Households with a parking spot with access to a power outlet is just over 50%”, than that should be well over 50% of individual respondents, since I’m pretty sure the majority of those households are multi-person.

Nate

>>”However, if “Households with a parking spot with access to a power outlet is just over 50%”, than that should be well over 50% of individual respondents, since I’m pretty sure the majority of those households are multi-person.”

Why is that? Are you assuming that having access to a power outlet makes it more likely that you have a multi-person household and you want to multiply each individual respondents answer by the number of people in their household? If so, I don’t think that would be valid way to conduct this survey. Even if you did that, I don’t think it would skew the numbers the way you are suggesting. I could explain why I think that, but I am just trying to make sure I understand what you mean here first.

Nate

>>”My assumption is that these are people who already drive on an ongoing basis, so they’re not carless residents of urban SF, or people too poor to own a car; therefore they also have regular access to a parking spot.”

If you want to limit the demographics, perhaps limit it to those with a desire to buy a car in the next N years. The “people too poor to own a car” may very well have aspirations and ability to own a car in the near future. The same could also be true with the “carless resident of urban SF”. Also, that SF resident and others without cars may have a preference for what car-share and ride-share services they use based off of how desirable the cars are so the questions may be more valid than you think even for them.

Pushmi-Pullyu

wavelet said:

“The survey looks oddly defined to me.”

Yes, I’d like to see the actual questions used in the survey. Other surveys that have been reported in the media indicate that only about 20-25% of car owners would even consider buying an EV for their next car.

I suspect the questionnaire was worded to get as many “yes” answers as possible, rather than being a useful measure of actual interest in buying an EV.

notting

“Are interested in electric vehicles” could also mean like “I’m interested in vehicles by Porsche, Ferrari, etc. with much power, but I’m quited sure that I can never afford it” – the last part obviously was not part of the survey (or at least of the results).

notting

sven

I wonder what percentage of the survey respondents thought that a non-plugin hybrid was an EV. Did the survey specifically state that EVs are vehicles that plugin as opposed to a hybrid? I wonder what percentage of the car driving public still thinks that you have to plug in a Prius or other HEV.

Pushmi-Pullyu

HEVs aren’t EVs?

sven, what do you think the “EV” in “HEV” means?

This “purity litmus test” by the more extreme BEV supporters posting to InsideEVs is getting really old.

sven

The survey was about consumer interest in buying a plug-in EV, not a hybrid.

Terawatt

Plug-in hybrids are not EVs. They are better than ICE of course, but they are hybrids! It is 100% as inaccurate to categorize them as EVs as it is to categorize them as ICEVs!

Almost everyone can use an EV (BEV!!) right now. I’m sure the US, just like us in Norway, have plenty of car sharing options, from Hertz and other carpools to my own favorite option – the sharing economy variant where you rent a car from someone in your neighbourhood. If I need to tow, which I haven’t so far, I can simply rent a car with towing capability and pay very little (perhaps just a quarter of what rental companies charge). Most people allow renting by the hour, so for the pracitcal tasks I can imagine needing another car for it really costs very little and is pretty easy to arrange.

The only thing I’m missing is the ability to drive on long trips to explore my own country, or even driving all the way north to the land of the midnight sun (where I’m from) to visit my parents and old friends. That will become practical with affordable cars arriving over the next two years!

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Plug-in hybrids are not EVs… It is 100% as inaccurate to categorize them as EVs as it is to categorize them as ICEVs!”

Right, because nothing can possibly be two things at the same time, and the “EV” in “PHEV” doesn’t mean “Electric Vehicle”.

Oh, wait…

I realize that people like to pigeonhole things. Sorting things into categories makes it easier to deal with the world.

But it’s pretty silly to confuse the label you put on a pigeonhole with reality. Not everything fits neatly into pigeonholes. Reality is messy.

Jose

Automakers have invested their money in the petroleum business for years. That is the main reason why the production of EV’s is slow at the present time. The other problem with buying an EV is that the price is about double compared with an equivalent ICE vehicle.