Study: 61% of Consumers View Plug-In Vehicles Favorably, But Awareness is Still Low


Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

According to the latest consumer survey from Navigant Research, “favorability ratings for alternative fuel vehicles remain high, with all three types of vehicles (hybrid, electric, and natural gas) above the 50 percent mark for favorability.”

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

Further findings suggest that 67% of those surveyed view hybrid vehicles favorably and 61% view plug-in electric vehicles favorably.

While “favorability” was high, awareness was relatively low, says Navigant.

44% of the respondents were familiar with the Chevrolet Volt, but less than one-third were familiar with the Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S, Ford C-Max Energi and BMW i3.

Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant Research, stated:

“Two-thirds of consumers surveyed stated that they believe EVs have unique features that stand out from their gasoline counterparts, and 6 out of 10 agreed that EVs are much less expensive to own in the long run than gasoline cars.  While those are encouraging numbers, it’s clear that automakers still have a long way to go in marketing these vehicles to the wider car-buying public.”

Details on theses finding and more can be found in the Navigant Research white paper, titled “Electric Vehicle Consumer Survey.”  It’s available for free download here.

*The survey of 1,084 consumers in the United States was conducted in the fall of 2013 using a nationally representative and demographically balanced sample, says Navigant.

Categories: General


Leave a Reply

10 Comments on "Study: 61% of Consumers View Plug-In Vehicles Favorably, But Awareness is Still Low"

newest oldest most voted

gas cars sucked when they came out

and people were buying them up

…and, back then, laws were enacted in some places requiring cars to pull off to the side of the road and turn off their motor in order to avoid disturbing easily-spooked horses. Sound familiar? — somewhat like the call to enact laws today requiring all EVs be equipped with an artificial “noise maker” in order to help easily-distracted humans not walk into them.

Until EVs can offer at least 160 miles + range extender for another 100+ back up miles, and under $30k, most consumers really don’t care.

But that’s just 1 generation away. Next gen EVs coming in 2015/16 will be there. But the tiny range extender will be key to more EV adoption by the public in general. Without that 100 miles of back up power, the fear is running out of electricity and being stranded on the side of the road.

“1 generation away” = 2015/6? This is unfortunately far to optimistic. The 2014 BMW i3 is 2014, 80/80 EV/gas range and $40K. BMW is the only company currently brave enough to spend $3B to achieve this modest result. To double EV range and drop $10K it’ll be more like a human generation, maybe when you kids grow up around 2025. EV/gas combos are just too complex and restrictive, all in the name of range. Automakers are wasting valuable R&D resources on this. The best EV/gas combo is two cars (one pure EV of course), and USA is more than 50% 2+ car families. This is why Musk’s Tesla strategy is so much better: focus on pure EV with which they plan to achieve a 200 EV range for $30K by 2016/7. This will be the tipping point. Since Musk already created PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity, all phenomenal successes in only one human generation, I have a lot of faith that Tesla’s Gen3 will be this tipping point, and so do savvy Tesla investors obviously.

Not really, we have 3 cars at home, Acura mdx, lexus is(wifes), basically like powerful machines.Most of american Homes have at least two cars.
After switching to Leaf, I drive daily 65 miles to work on single charge, @65mph with 10-15 miles left in reserve, most people don’t travel that far. and they will have juice for errands at the end of the day also.More than 98% my mileage can be covered by my leaf.
For Trips more than 70 miles, i have my wife’s car, I find SUV use less except for long trips more than 200 miles, once or twice a year. i can rent a SUV rather than paying for EMIS.

Leaf has tall body for my height 6′ 1″, just like mini suv, nice pick up than Lexus up to 50mph,after which I have to adjust little bit, but not big price to pay.

Leaf saves me 60% of lease payments(since i took SL version other wise 90%), saves miles on my luxury cars, and finally the environment.

I would say I am loving it.

Fear is for the sheep.

I look at the US, Canada and Australia where the average person has very low life skills reported in the media, so it’s no surprise that EV’s are low on their horizon.

Most people from these three countries are probable still getting comfortable with Vintage ICE powered cars, while the rest of us on this website have moved on a little into the future ….
& can even peek a little done the road to vector controlled EV AWD ….. the real ultimate silent driving machine.

The two biggest hurdles for EVs in the US right now are [1] battery cost/range and [2] public awareness. I’ve experienced the latter multiple times since leasing my Leaf in March. I routinely encounter people who are simply stunned that there’s such a thing as a “real car” you can drive on the public roads that (gasp!) doesn’t have a liquid fueled engine of any kind. I’ve had to open the hood for them, and I’ve watched as people dropped down into a pushup position and looked under the car, certain that there was a tailpipe hidden under the rear of the car. The people looking to make billions from batteries will fix problem [1], but we can help with [2]. If you have an EV give people rides, tell them how much money you save on fuel and maintenance, how quiet, zippy, and clean (as in no gasoline smell) your car is, etc. And be prepared for some eye roll-inducing questions, like “can it go in snow” and “how long can it idle in a traffic jam”. Right now, we’re all ambassadors for this new tech., and it doesn’t take much of a sales pitch for newcomers to see… Read more »
Great comment Luo. To add to it, if you don’t already have an EV, then buy one. Smart, Spark, and iMiev are all cheap up front and cheap to keep, so don’t wait. Show off their funkiness, reliability, agility and cost savings and for those friends & family that you discover are after a 2nd car, profess the benefits to them. Oh, and I forgot convinience, just like we do with our cell phones, just plug in each night and forget about it. Even the modest Smart EV offers enough range for most days. Awareness is already the biggest hurdle, not range. But fortunately people do get tech, for example smart phones are in huge growth. Tesla, Nissan, BMW, and the rest of the automakers (once they remove their blinders to EVs), are fortunately not dealing with the horse & buggy mentality of a century ago. I’m optimistic, once people are aware, they will trust, value and buy EVs. Musk thank you (and BMW for making a real attempt), and the rest of you old guard, wake up. We need real, appealing and accessable pure EV options and not just low production experiments like the Focus, Fit, Fiat, etc. Even… Read more »