Survey: Consumers Willing To Pay More For Plug-In Vehicles

from left: Tesla Model S, Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model X


Most consumers would consider an alternative propulsion vehicle – even at a higher price.

According to a national survey conducted by market researcher InnovateMR, the majority of automotive consumers are interested in alternative propulsion options such as plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles. Even if the upfront cost is higher than a traditional ICE vehicle purchase.

By switching to an electric vehicle, drivers can significantly decrease their fuel consumption. This fact was cited as the greatest benefit among survey respondents. In the long term, driving electric can save owners money in fuel and maintenance costs.

Existing owners can attest to the benefits of electric vehicle ownership. The most famous example of this phenomenon is known as the Tesla stretch. Nevertheless, this is not unique to Tesla. Many Chevy Bolt, BMW i3 and other plug-in owners happily spent more than they would have been willing to on an equivalent ICE vehicle. Thankfully, a decade of falling battery prices have made electrics more affordable than ever.

BMW i3

InnovateMR surveyed 750 consumers across the country. According to chief researcher Lisa Wilding-Brown:

Consumers are hungry for new technology and powertrain alternatives. Growth trends are accelerating in certain regions of the U.S.

The question becomes what is the tipping point for cost-payback and mainstream consumer buy-in to alternatives.

It comes as no surprise that younger buyers are more interested in such a purchase. 80% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 and 70% of 35-54 year olds said they would be willing to spend more on an alternative propulsion vehicle.

Overall, men expressed greater interest in plug-in vehicles (73%) than women (60%). Those with an undergraduate degree (71%) or a graduate degree (85%) were also more willing to pay more than those with a high school education (49%). Meanwhile, only 48% of consumers over the age of 55 would consider paying more for a plug-in vehicle.

Source: WardsAuto

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30 Comments on "Survey: Consumers Willing To Pay More For Plug-In Vehicles"

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Surprise, those with a higher education, and presumably a higher income are willing to pay more for an EV.

Surprise, those over 55 are less willing to spend more. that’s because they are closing in on that retirement time and need to ensure they have enough for later. Ever noticed that most retiree’s drive little cars, in Europe anyway.

The age curve may also have to do with willingness to (accept) change. I’m not sure what the gender gap would have to do with though… Do you think it has to do with identifying EVs as technologically forward-thinking (men being more interested in technology and/or cars)?

Guys love gadgets. When I’m driving, I always keep the power-meter and energy-flow graphics going on my screens.

The more exposure to Fake Fox News the lower they score on all kinds of metrics like judging reality. Global Warming Denial…

There’s still the Toyota Prius and Prime to help you save for retirement.
Not only that but even young people would save a fortune by ALWAYS buying a Hybrid or Plugin or EV today, and for every car they buy in their lifetime, that would be Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Fuel Expense.

What this shows is people with education are more likely to Use their Education and do the Math they teach in 5th grade.

I think the “Tesla stretch” phenomenon isn’t quite the thing it’s sometimes made out to be. For one thing incentives made Model 3 not quite the financial stretch it nominally appeared to be for those trading in non premium cars and also I think it benefited from the novelty factor that enticed many to pay more than they normally would for a car. Due to these factors as a structural component of demand the Tesla stretch factor may be lower than it initially appeared as reflected by the current lower demand levels in the US.

On the upside: those in the market for a lower luxury class car don’t need to stretch at all anymore even before incentives after recent price cuts. Model 3 currently costs just about the same as a similarly specced and performing BMW 330 and TOC is bound to be much lower for the Tesla.

Well, that took a lot of thought.

The current lower demand levels are a totally expected result of incentive change, since anyone who was willing to buy at that price point obviously bought before the change. The current demand is *not* reflective of long-term demand — it’s severely depressed due to purchases having been pulled forward. I actually expected January figures to come out lower. All these orders are basically only from people who became interested, and then decided to pull the trigger, within the past few weeks!

(Also, considering that US inventory appears to be sold out, we don’t even know whether January deliveries reflect current demand…)

Would I been great to know how much. My personal bet is around 3-4 years of gas saved. So probably 4K-5k more.

It’s not just about a cash amount of fuel savings; it’s also about the time and effort saved in never having to visit a fuel station again. Having to make an extra trip or a diversion from my normal route once a week every week adds up to a lot of wasted time, and I am willing to pay extra for a car that means I don’t have to do that.

I also don’t like getting my hands oily handling the pump, and I don’t trust the card machines at the pump, so that’s two more reasons to be glad never to have to go there again.

And before anyone says “yes, but if you stop at a charge point you’ll have to wait hours for a full charge”, I’ll point out that I haven’t used a public charge point yet. Not once. Never. If I do need to do so at some point, I’ll only be a rare occasion, so I’ll still be winning overall (by a long way) on time saved even if that one specific trip takes a bit longer.

It’s not just about a cash amount of fuel savings; it’s also about the time and effort saved”

In Northern California the time saved in commute for the HOV sticker is a huge incentive.

Spudley, charging on a road trip does not add time, unless you are the sort who wears diapers or pees in a bottle. Tesla superchargers add charge at a 400 mile per hour rate. But like you say, the best perk is home charging. Mine costs me about 2.5 cents per mile. To compare to gas, after buying my Tesla I am spending about $30 more on electricity per month, but saving about $200 on gas, all while my miles driven has increased. I only went to a supercharger once in the first 4 months, but will do some road trips starting in the spring.

Gregory, I think you’ve mis-interpreted me. I don’t expect road trips to take longer either, but it is a common thing that people raise as a worry about buying an EV. My point was that even if this is a problem (which it isn’t), you’re still better off in terms of time saved overall thanks to not wasting any time in your normal day-to-day usage.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

There’s an advantage many do not list and that’s Free EV charging at work.
I have not charged at home in the past 3 months.
When was the last time you got free gas at a parking garage?

I can’t tell you exactly when….but i did have a gasoline canister and a hose on me that day.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


How much are you betting? Don’t bet more than you’re willing to lose…. to compare cost of ownership, you need to compare the EV price to the price of 2+ ICE. 1 EV lifetime = 2 ICE lifetimes. First there is the obvious cost of fuel, over the lifetimes of two ICE vehicles, and then the cost of maintenance/service/repair. So it may be closer to 1:4 rather than 1:2.

“Would I been great to know how much.”

I believe the 2015 or 2016 Cleantechnica survey pegged it at $4,000 though I suspect that may vary by income level.

The education level and age group data indicate people who have more disposable income are more interested in spending extra money.
Higher education = more income.
Older = closer to retiring = more frugal.

Same statistics would apply to ‘who buys iPhone XS?’.


Duh, you’re a genius.
Except, that before Tesla and EV’s many “rich” people bought Honda Civics and Accords.

It simply turns out that a Tesla is a better buy than any ICE even at a higher initial buying price. Compare the price to 4 ICE vehicles, that will get you close.

“Older = closer to retiring = more frugal.”

Over 55 in the. US also means higher income and higher income disparity than younger age groups. This contradicts the higher income = more willingness explanation

Older people may also not commute, or drive that many miles in a year.

Perfect for the BMW i3 REX.
Exceptional ride, smooth electric power, and great parking ease in the city.

It makes sense, as many US Americans are already living above their means, what’s holding them back from living above “above their means”?

This headline is misleading- paying “more” isn’t simply about the upfront side-by-side sticker price compared to ICE. The true cost is built in over the life of the vehicle. The longer one keeps an EV, the more return on investment compared to ICE.

Operational Expense. But, only educated people ( sadly ) consider operational expense, or your Accounting department.

Congrats! Tesla’s break out into the general public.

Yup, that’s me.
I never cared about cars. I bought one at 29 because I moved into a smaller city with worse public transport, for €9,400 (it would have been about €22,000 new). I would never thought I would one day spend over €50,000 on a new car, especially since I commute by e-bike. What a waste!
Yet, when Model 3 was announced, I preordered on the first day, and we have been saving up to afford it since then. This is not about just spending money on a new car. It’s about the Model 3.
We would never have spent this kind of money on any other car. Absolutely not an ICE but also not most other EVs that are on the road today, or announced by various companies for the next couple of years.
There simply isn’t anything else even remotely comparable on the market today (or will be in the next 1-2 years).