Electric Cars Buyers Are Young & Rich

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 37

Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e

2015 Ford Focus Electric

2015 Ford Focus Electric

Recently, TrueCar.com took at stab at discovering who buys electric cars.  The findings are intriguing.

What TrueCar did is examine the profiles of buyers of two compact cars that are offering in both ICE and pure electric form: Ford Focus and Fiat 500.

The results, according to TrueCar president John Karfcik, are rather surprising.  As USA Today writes:

For the conventional Focus, buyers average age 46 and have household income of $77,000 a year. The average Focus Electric buyer is age 43 with household income of $199,000, says TrueCar President John Krafcik.

Among the conventional buyers, half said they bought a Focus because of a lucrative price and rebates. But when it came to the electric, that figure jumped to 82%.

The same dynamic was at work with the Fiat 500 vs. its electric version, the 500e. Buyers of the conventional version come in at an average of age 47 with $73,000 in household income. The electric attracts buyers average age 45 and $145,000 income. Fewer, some 52%, were lured by the deal, compared to 67% for the electric.

Krafcik stated:

“These [electric car buyers] are really affluent folks.”

Surprised by the findings?

Source: USA Today

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37 responses to "Electric Cars Buyers Are Young & Rich"

  1. Speculawyer says:

    The rich get richer, taking advantage of tax-credits and not paying for gasoline.

    But it is still good, those EVs end up on the used market eventually providing a trickle-down effect. And these early EVs are building up the mass market such that EVs become more affordable.

    I just hope the rest of the nation can start appreciating the advantages of EVs (cheap to fuel, no oil changes, no smog checks, incentives, fewer repairs, etc.)

    1. manbitesgas says:

      Tax-credits? You mean the $5.3 trillion in fossil fuels subsidies this year? These “rich”?…

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/fossil-fuels-get-global-5-3-trillion-subsidy-imf-report-1.3079451

      That figure alone should make ANYONE who can afford a Focus Titanium switch over to electric…

      1. Speculawyer says:

        You need to understand those ‘subsidies’ on fossil fuels. The biggest ones are the fossil fuel production countries that sell their fossil fuels to their own people at below world market rates. Like the Venezuelan people that buy gasoline for 25 cents per gallon or whatever it is. And many countries subsidize the price of gasoline/diesel.

      2. Scott Franco, the greedy republican says:

        “The IMF estimates that governments are providing a $5.3 trillion US “subsidy” to the fossil fuel sector in 2015 by failing to account for its harmful effects on the environment and human health.”

        Ie., “subsidy” in fevered leftist fantasies.

        1. 64,000 premature deaths every year because of air pollution. To mention nothing of millions of cases of asthma and COPD. Compared to the human death and misery, the negative economic impact to agriculture and forestry is nothing, but also needs to be accounted for.

          The only fantasy is the denialism.

    2. Scott Franco, the greedy republican says:

      Lets see, I leased a Smart EV for my wife at $140 per month for a 3 year lease. The total out the door cost was $1000, so:

      1000 Drive off cost
      150 Lease total cost per month
      2500 California rebate
      100 Average gas expenditures per month
      20 Average electrical cost (based on .75/gal eq)

      6400 Total lease cost
      3600 Total gas cost
      720 Total electrical cost

      4620 Total costs electric
      10000 Total costs gas

      Ie., the total costs to drive the EV version of the smart is less than half the total costs to drive the gas version of the same car. The E500 has the same lease costs.

      So what is rich here, and what is simply stupid?

      1. Robert says:

        Exactly. It’s not young Roch people buying these cars. It’s young people who have done their homework!

  2. EVer says:

    Im 21 and am very fortunate to be driving electric at such a young age. Keep trying to tell people my age about the greatness of electric but they are still in that stage of loud exhausts/tuning cars and such.

    Told them they’ll eventually grow out of it like I did (although the sound of an Aventador will make me have to change my pants)

    It’s all apparent and will become obvious in the coming years… even though its already obvious, but to most they are still stuck in their ways and have their filters that only see what they want to see.

    1. Kaleb says:

      I couldn’t possibly agree more. All of my personal friends and family that have EVs will never go back to the ICE age. I would think the low running costs, lack of maintenance and fun-to-drive factor will be a no-brainer for younger people, once they are willing to think outside the box.

    2. Mister G says:

      Keep it up, don’t become discouraged.

  3. Lithium says:

    Average income is the wrong metric due to the Jay Leno effect. I think they meant to use median income.

    1. Nix says:

      What the guy at TrueCar is telling the reporter, is data out of a 2013 study done by Experian Automotive (same company that does FICO credit scores). The full study is behind a pay-wall so I can’t share it, but here is Experian’s April 2014 presser with part of this data:

      “55 percent) of electric buyers were between the ages of 36 years old and 55 years old. Additionally, nearly 21 percent of consumers purchasing an electric car had an average household income of $175,000 or more”

      https://www.experianplc.com/media/news/2014/experian-automotive-consumers-purchasing-an-electric-vehicle-are-younger-and-more-affluent/

      That might give you a better idea of how to interpret the numbers. Keep in mind that this is all based upon 2013 sales data, which was still fairly early in EV sales, which only started in decent numbers the year before.

  4. Mark C says:

    EV’s are still young to our markets {in something resembling any quantity}, and it makes sense to me.

    When cell phones, digital cameras & microwave ovens came to market, all were out of reach of the average retail customer. Prices fell, and now it unusual to see any household that doesn’t have a cell phone, digital camera and microwave oven in it.

  5. Ken_3 says:

    At 60 years old, and under $70k annual income. Owning a C-Max plug in hybrid, and a Zero electric motorcycle puts me WAY outside of their findings.

    1. Nix says:

      According to the original Experian Automotive study, 26 percent of EV buyers were over 56 years old. So you still have plenty of company. =)

  6. BravelilToaster says:

    The price point could have told you that. 🙂

    Someday, when that price point isn’t so high, the demographics of the EV consumer will change.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Well, you CAN get an EV at a low price point these days. But I think a bigger issue may be the fact that you pretty much need a home where you can install a charger and that eliminates a lot of younger people.

  7. Lou Grinzo says:

    Is this the point where I drag my soap box into the middle of the room, climb up on it, and then wave my arms and go on about “the market sorting itself out”/things now not being what they will be Real Soon Now for the 50th time?

    Why don’t we just assume I did and then we can all move on.

  8. Lensman says:

    “Surprised by the findings?”

    What I’m surprised by is that anyone would try to characterize an average age of 45 as “young”. Now, I’m an old geezer myself, at the older-than-dirt age of 59. But I’d never describe someone only 14 years younger than me as “young”. That’s well into middle age.

    A more accurate headline would be “Electric Cars Buyers Are Rich & Slightly Younger”

    1. Speculawyer says:

      I think the headline should read “EV owners are rich, young, and good looking”

      🙂

      1. Lensman says:

        Oh, well of course!

        My bad. 🙂

  9. CDAVIS says:

    A more accurate blog title would be:

    Most Electric Cars Buyers Are Middle Aged & Affluent

    basically,

    …the same demo as for BMW & Mercedes-Benz

  10. Juan says:

    I also think it has to do with infrastructure. Most millennials are probably still renting so it becomes difficult to charge even in the Bay Area. Depending on Blink/Nvg is not cost effective or convenient.

  11. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Well as California is one of the largest PEV market, the stats will be slightly distorted…

    $80K salary is almost a minimum wage these day in SF Bay Area..

  12. Ken says:

    I make less than $40k a year and have managed to convert a Geo Metro, lease a Mini E, buy a 2012 Leaf, buy a 2015 Leaf, buy a used 2012 Imiev, buy a 2013 Zero S, buy an electric lawnmower, bicycle, and skateboard. I’m 37 years old so their study is way off for me. And before you comment, i don’t live in my parents basement. I have my own home. There are lots of people in our electric car club and none that i know of make $77k a year. Well except the two guys that own Teslas maybe. This is in NJ, i guess this study was based on California?

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “buy an electric lawnmower”

      Battery or corded?

      Corded ones are cheaper than ICE models… =) Doesn’t count your the “NOT rich” claim.

      I have a battery version. In fact, all my lawn equipments are battery operated…

      1. BIll Howland says:

        Yeah I own all electric lawn equipment, a $19.95 corded 8 year old black & decker cheapie string trimmer on a 50 year old extension cord, a 4 year old E-cycler 36 volt toro lead acid 20″ way underpowered (1/3 horsepower) lawnmower – battery on the thing hasn’t degraded in the slightest over 4 years. Cuts my relatively huge yard on one charge as long as I keep the 1/3 weight blade sharp(ultra dumb cause the sharpener dude constantly bends the blade out of shape and I have to spend 90 minutes ‘dynamically reballancing it’).

        The only thing which has been a big expense has been going through THREE corded snowblowers last winter during our record setting cold. (about 20 degrees F colder than normal). I have the biggest one currently sold: a 14 amp SNow Joe. The cordless snow blowers other than the Ahrens AMP must be a total joke. I don’t have nearly enough power with the SJ. A toy battery operated model would totally collapse.

        Perhaps I should have bought the serious Ahrens 24″ 3 hp 48 volt unit when they made it. People who bought one loved it but said it worked fantastically for 15 minutes then the battery went dead. If I had one I’d put a few 100 lbs more of batteries in the thing, but I’m really looking for a 24 ” dual stage snowblower with the gas engine blown in the thing. I’ll put a 2 or 3 hp AC motor on the thing and run the thing corded on 240.

        I don’t get Ahrens. THey make great gas equipment, but then they tried battery operated equipment (no corded attempts) and on both the riding lawn mowers and snowblower they put crappy batteries in them to keep the purchase price low. DUMB. Now everything is discontinued.

    2. Lensman says:

      Yeah, it’s really amazing how parochial those who live on the East coast and in Southern California are. We here in what they disparagingly call the “flyover” States may have a cost of living half of what they do, so a smaller salary can leave us with significantly more disposable income.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “may have a cost of living half of what they do, so a smaller salary can leave us with significantly more disposable income”

        NOT if you make less than half of the salary… LOL.

  13. Ken says:

    Homelite battery mower. Was $299 at Home Depot about 5 years ago. About to upgrade it to lithium. The only thing that i have that runs on gasoline are my Jet Skis. Well that and my generator that ive never used.

  14. The USAToday / TrueCar study is flawed in comparing ICE vs. EV models from same manufacture.

    Eg: the Fiat 500e is only sold in California while the ICE version is offered in most states. This fact along skews average income level of buyers. A balanced study would have only included sales from states (zip codes) that only sold both models.

    A similar study would find a large number of ICE models effected by water damage due to flooding vs. the electric model vehicles.
    (due to drought in the west … CA, OR, and WA account for 2/3 of EVs in USA, and all are experiencing multi-year droughts)

  15. BIll Howland says:

    To find out why I’m getting 20 degrees colder than normal, and California is 20 degrees hotter, listen to what Dane Wittington on GEOENGINEERINGWATCH.ORG has to say.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      No, no . . . don’t start.

  16. Surya says:

    I got my EV when I was 36… but I certainly don’t make $200k a year. Not even close!

  17. MarkSTJ says:

    I remember when A/C and automatic transmissions were only for the rich. They pay for R and D and then the rest get it. Face it, big oil is not going down without a fight.

  18. Loboc says:

    Of course they are more affluent than ICE buyers. One basically has to ALSO own an ICE car/truck plus have a place to charge in order to drive an EV. In other words, one needs an enabling infrastructure.

    Just got an EGO mower to replace the worn-out Homelite. Really good job on the design.