Search Tracking Program Concludes “Today’s Electric Vehicle Consumer Is Predominantly Affluent, Educated, And Married Without Children”


Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

A company called Connexity provides a service called Hitwise that “unlocks the secrets of consumer behavior. Get a birds eye view into your competition.” 

Essentially, they track searches for one reason or another. Recently, the company focused on the search terms surrounding “electric car”, “electric vehicle”, (and various other terms or brands related to the subject). They uncovered some interesting information.

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

Global director of content and insights at Hitwise, Rochelle Bailis, shared:

“Today’s electric vehicle consumer is predominantly affluent, educated and married without children. No doubt this is a valuable segment, but it still fails to connect with the majority of the potential market share — specifically middle class families.”

“Clearly, there is an interest in electric cars out there, but parents remain skeptical. Due to the compact size of most electric vehicles available on the market, families with young children aren’t convinced of their practicality just yet.”

“As automakers such as Toyota, Chevy and Nissan continue rolling out improved models, and more charging stations crop up across the country, the prices will inevitably become more accessible. Should electric vehicles nail the affordable family vehicle, expect the market to open up more quickly than it has.”

Connexity has the ability to use a service called AudienceView, in order to project the future, based on today’s profiling. Below are the takeaways from the analysis gathered from a group of U.S. adults searching online for electric vehicle-related information:

  • Electric vehicle ownership is dominated by people age 35-44
  • Electric vehicle leasing is dominated by both Millennials and Gen Xers
  • Electric vehicles owners and lessees are highly-educated
  • Tesla owners are likely to have a college degree
  • Tesla owners are 54.5% male
  • Tesla owners have a median age of 39
  • Cost is the top factor inhibiting electric vehicle purchases
  • Tesla and Tesla Model 3 are the top two electric vehicle-related automotive searches
  • Prius is the next most common search (falling just outside the top ten in related searches)
  • Tesla owners have a median income of $422K
  • Affordable EV owners and lessees (Toyota Prius, Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, BMW i3) have a median income between $118K and $184K
  • Consumers with a median income under $75K are highly unlikely to own an EV

What does this all mean? We think it’s pretty obvious that it says that people are interested in electric vehicles, and more specifically, in Tesla. However, Tesla vehicles are too expensive for the masses. Many are taking notice that the Model 3 is on the way and that Tesla is dedicated to offering competitively priced vehicles.

In terms of EVs in general, consumers are primarily still those with higher than average incomes, and kid-free. But, with the increased awareness and education, availability and infrastructure, and more economical and family-friendly offerings, these types of trends make the future of EVs seem remarkably viable.

Source: MediaPost

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33 Comments on "Search Tracking Program Concludes “Today’s Electric Vehicle Consumer Is Predominantly Affluent, Educated, And Married Without Children”"

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EV are best at homes with garages. About half the EV are sold in CA where houses or even apt with garages cost lot of money; some are million plus dollars for “tiny” 2 bedroom! Then you would have to be “rich” to drive EV. Because home ownership or rental is more expensive than apt, this trend would hold throughout US, although probably not as severe as in CA.

Unfortunately, I don’t see this trend changing any time soon. You’d have to be federal income tax payer (ie, upper 50% income) to be able to drive EV effectively. If you want to pay less taxes, get an EV before it runs out!

You’re assuming nothing will change and that EV’s will therefore always be for the affluent only. I’m pretty sure a lot will change, though.

For one thing: EV’s will drop in price fast. Within seven or eight years from now, long range, usable EV’s will be cheaper than FF cars.

Secondly: you’re assuming everybody needs a garage or a drive in order to charge an EV. I would think it’s highly unlikely that within the next decade, there won’t be level 2 charging points or wireless charging plates with card readers in many, many places. Next to parking spots in the street and in parking lots. With the inevitable explosion in the number of EV’s in the next decade, building huge networks of easy to use level 2 charging points will become a viable business model sooner than later.

And then you get everyone who pays DMV fees to pay for your car.

Yep, look it up.

If you get a Spark EV lease, with $1000 down and $100 per month on a 3 year lease. That’s $1200 per year (yes, these are typical numbers in CA). So you get $2500 from poor people paying DMV fees, so that covers your down payment and a bit more than one year of lease payments, leaving $2100 total lease payments over the remaining lease. Now figure conservatively commuter fuel use of $50 per month, or $600*3 years for $1800. Assume that electric costs about 1/4 of gas, and you have saved about $1350, your net cost is about $750 for a three year lease. If your employer has a charging station and you use that, your cost is zero for gas and your net cost is $300 for the three year lease. That means if you are dirt poor, you get a car for next to nothing and are recovering your DMV fees besides. If you are well off, it means you have a spare car basically for free to use for commuting, and reduced your gas costs to next to nothing or nothing. The problem is not personal wealth, but the fact that most people are numerically challenged… Read more »

If you are rich, then you probably paid more in taxes than the rebate you get back. The money you get from rebate is essentially the tax you already paid.

If you are low income, and you have credit score high enough to qualify for low cost lease, you either paid tons of taxes in the past (ie, you’re retired) or you will pay tons of taxes in the future (ie, fresh grad with bright future). Either way, rebate was or will be taxes you pay.

To think that lower taxes is bad is socialism at its worst. Many so called republicans turn into socialists as if there’s magic in EV. Better take advantage of it as much as you can before they confiscate more of your money. I take full advantage of ALL tax breaks, whether it’s EV or home mortgage tax deduction. You should, too.

Why I’m not surprised? Because EV
– are still very often more expensive than ICE cars of the same class (at least without incentitives, very often even with)
– need a charger in your home/garage (because you can’t charge in 5-10min 0->100%) which very often should be your own so spending that mony makes sense (if it’s possible at all – permission of the owners needed because not possible like on public streers)

you should have enough money e.g. by
– earning quite much money

But there’s more: At the end of 2014, my parents needed to buy a new car (old one died).
– They’re already Renault customers.
– The Scenic became in the meantime too big -> something like a Clio, but they want to sit higher, like a Captur.
– They’re driving nearly only short distances.
– My dad likes electrical stuff.
– They have their own house and it’s possible to install a charger.

Now for the “but” (the price was the smaller problem):
– The height of the drivers seat is not adjustable (and maybe generally too low for them) 🙁

So they bought a Captur with ICE…


Rubbish. I know plenty of people, even Tesla owners who charge entirely at work. Why not, its free and you don’t have to buy a home charger.

Hey, dogs are “children”, too!!!

the model 3 is going to be priced like a benz c-class/bm 3-series, so it is also going to be targeted for people with 6-figure household incomes. tesla has identified its segment so if people think that tesla is going to try to compete with toyota, they are probably going to be disappointed. when you think about it, the innovative ideas coming out of tesla tend to be oriented toward the high end consumer.

You can lease, and then buy at the end of the lease.
That way you only pay for 3 years of ownership, then decide if you want to keep the car, or lease again.

And with the Tesla speed of innovation, it pays to lease.
At lease for the next 12 years, until they get to generation 5.
But, this may never end.

I wonder the number behind single buyers, and whether it is like men prefering, when the margin is 54% male. I only know families with Teslas, but that is no sample.

Ah, now we have proof of what we all suspected: Buying an EV instantly makes you smarter, more attractive, ensures long life and happiness, gives you whiter teeth, fresh breath, and an ideal body weight; and if you decide you want children, they will be both brilliant and beautiful!
😀 😀 😀

…please don’t confuse “buying an EV” with “buying a black EV”

$400k is a ridiculous median income for any product.

no kidding.

fun fact: that’s the POTUS’ salary.

Nope, he is waving his salary and taking $1 per year, the legal minimum.

Apparently, the President cannot waive his/her salary. So Trump must take his salary and decide what to do with it. He could donate it to a charity as Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy did. But we won’t know for certain what Trump does until he releases his tax returns.

This is completely wrong for me. Wife and I make less than $75k combined and im on EV number 8 already. Ev Geo, Mini E, two 2012 Leafs, 2013 Zero S, 2015 Leaf, 2012 iMiev (used), and now a 2016 Zero SR. And a reservation on a Model 3. Id love to meet these imaginary people that make over $100k a year. Not around here they dont. Survey sounds like it was only sampling California.

Probably about 30% of the US has household incomes over $100k, given that the median is $75k.

Just a random data point but I don’t live in CA but know very few people with household income less than $100k. I also see about $400k as the median of Tesla owners.

But we are a diverse country as the election has taught us.

Outside of CA, I don’t think new car buyers (ie EV owners) live in apartments very often

Apartment Dwellers should buy the New Toyota Prius.
They’re still helping then.

In Silicon Valley, $100,000 is the poverty line or about. Very few people can afford individual housing at that level, since a reasonable apartment is $2000 or more per month.

There are always people who are outliers. People with lower incomes can buy electric if they are willing to put a higher percentage of their income into the process. It is the same reason that my home had more computing power them my companies Data Center. I am into computers and like to play with them so I put more money into them than most people do.

I assume the survey didn’t include used EVs. Here in the UK at least, used EVs are a bargain and make economic sense compared to an ICE of a similar age and spec.

And in the US the rebate price has already been taken out of the used car price. Meaning the second buyer gets the Federal Tax Credit passed on to him, with No Paperwork.

There are Premier Volt’s ( $40,000 ) going used for $14,000.

CEO of Connexity.

I was at Tesla Service Center on Wednesday and Saturday.
Demographics sound about right

One quibble… how do you determine what sex the buyer is when it’s a DINK couple?

Mostly the ones who took the “free sex doll with your Tesla offer”

Wow, $400k+

Can you guys who live in CA tell me what kind of occupations make you 250k plus and which ones take you to around half mil?

250 = Upper management
400 = startup founder or lawyer

Or, real estate hustler.

But my kids love riding in the Leaf. Technically they themselves do not have children though. So I can see where this statistical data would balance out.

Two out of three ain’t bad.

I remember when they used to shove us kids into the tiny back seats of 1970s coupes. Apparently “middle class family” is code for buying a 5000 pound mobile cattle pen full of amusements for keeping your Attention Deficit Disordered offspring busy because he considers the outside world boring.