Electric Vehicle Buyers: Younger, Wealthier Than Hybrid Owners

APR 23 2014 BY JAY COLE 16

Your Not Likely To See An Advertisement For The Toyota Prius As "Environmentally Sexy"

Your Not Likely To See An Advertisement For The Toyota Prius As “Environmentally Sexy” Anytime Soon

Richer we knew.  Younger we did not.

Your "Average" EV Owner Will Have One Child

44% Of EV Owners Are Married With At Least 1 Child At Home.  52% Of Hybrid Owners Have No Children To Come Home To

But that is the conclusion of a study of electric vehicle owners over their hybrid counterparts by Experian Automotive in Schaumburg. Ill. That study found that EV owners where both much wealthier and much younger than hybrid owners.

Some highlights from 2013 sales:

  •  55% of EV buyers fall between 36 and 55 years old
  •  those EV buyers have an average household income of more than $175,000
  •  45% of hybrid vehicle owners are older than 55
  •  just 12% of hybrid buyers have an household income of more than $175,000
  • 26% of EV buyers are older than 55

“At first glance, one would imagine that consumers purchasing either a hybrid or electric vehicle would be nearly identical, but our research shows that there are slight differences between the two.  One possible reason for the disparity could be the growing popularity of the higher-end luxury electric models available.” – Melinda Zabritski, senior director for Experian Automotive

In other words, older persons who buy hybrids are more of the ‘bottom line/dollar-wise’ variety, while the more affluent younger clientele is still more about being environmentally sexy.

The study also found that the average lease for an EV is 29 months long with a$386 monthly payment, while the typical hybrid is leased for 35 months with a $263 payment.


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16 Comments on "Electric Vehicle Buyers: Younger, Wealthier Than Hybrid Owners"

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“The top five EVs in operation last year according to Experian were the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, Ford Focus Electric, Fiat 500e and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, while the five most popular hybrids were the more mainstream Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Toyota Highlander and Ford Fusion.”

Hmmm.. why not include the data for PHEVs?

Given the large EV market share of the Tesla Model S, does this really surprise you? If you compared cars that had similar prices (say Nissan Leaf versus Toyota Prius), I bet you would get a very different picture.

Good point. Would be interesting to see the same data just on folks driving the “common man’s EV”.

I thought I read somewhere that the average income of a Model S owner is $160K… If that’s so, the data for just the common man’s EVs may not be much different.

Good our young people are our only hope. My generation is “programmed to buy gasoline.”…and they seem very unlikely to change. Try to explain global warming to a 65 year old. You soon give up. It’s like in the days of Magellan when people thought the earth was flat. No matter how much logic you used on them they died believing the world was flat.

I explained it to a 90 year old. And when finished then he said that he would definitely get an electrical vehicle as his next vehicle. But he thought it might be like a three wheeled moped or something like that because he wasn’t sure how long he could be driving cars (even though he is hoping on doing it into his turning a century).
We also talked self driving cars and he definitely wanted one of those but we agreed upon the time frame probably not being realistic for him to afford one (if even avaliable).

My point? Even old dogs can sit differently. It’s just a matter on information and not giving up on them wanting to change one day 🙂

So when can we expect a BEV place marker for Monopoly? ha ha

I’m 30, married, do not have a household income over $175,000. EV, not hybrid, owner.

I highly object to the comment “Have No Children To Come Home To”. Some of us are perfectly fine without children and we’re damn sick of everybody telling us we’re somehow incomplete without them.


“Everyone” is a bit of an overstatement, but I understand how you feel. Societal pressures are often put out there without the offending party even realizing it.

On the other side of the coin, I have two children and will possibly have more in the future. I often feel like society is telling me I’m somehow irresponsible for having “so many” children. As an example, I posted on mynissanleaf a while back asking if anyone managed to fit three car seats across the back. I seriously got a response that I should get a vasectomy – no joke!

I have zero issues with people having as many children as they’d like. Both of my parents are from large families and I feel I’m better for it. For that matter, people like you who plan to have more than 2 kids are ‘making up’ for people like my wife and I having less than the replacement rate.

In fact, I generally try to make life as good as possible for families and kids. I don’t like being chastised for not having children, and I also don’t appreciate people giving us a bad rap for the precisely the opposite.

“The study also found that the average lease for an EV is 29 months long with a $386 monthly payment”

Sounds like they averaged Telsas and leafs together, which is a distorted picture.

There are $11,000 used leafs selling here in San Jose now. The leases are coming up on the 2011s, and I know at least one person who swapped out for a 2014 leaf (yes, really, do a google search).

The market is maturing.

By the way, how many multi-car families have an EV and a hybrid? I do, for one. Does this mean that I’m younger and wealthier than myself? 😉

Um, yes I think it does…

Behold! The younger, wealthier, Leaf-driving me!

175000 $ year income! Do they rob a bank now and then? That is an amazing amount of money to own in just one single year. It is like being able to afford a house cash each two years. That’s really the happy super few 0.1%, not really the middle class and even less the average income.

Preface by saying that I like cars of all kinds, as long as they are Mercedes, rear or awd, and silver. I usually commute in my Smart ED, but sometimes take out one of my other Mercedes depending on my mood and the weather. ML, SLK, E. I wanted a Tesla but didn’t want to sell one of my other cars so thought I would try out an EV with a Smart lease. Smart didn’t sell the ED in GA until recently so I shipped it down from MB of Manhattan in NYC. The lease was really cheap after the Georgia state tax credit, but surprisingly the insurance costs more than my ML63 AMG. After driving the Smart for a few months now, I will never buy another ICE car again. I work at a company that is focused on sustainability, but I’m the first person with an EV in our office. My colleagues were probably shocked when I silently rolled up in my Smart, since I’m known as an avid car enthusiast. I notice people treat me differently when I pull up in the Smart vs one of my MBs, especially the gays are very judgmental and probably gold… Read more »