Survey Finds That People Are Aware Of Tesla, Yet Many Are Still Uneducated About EVs

White Tesla Model X, Red Model S - Tesla showroom

APR 12 2017 BY EVANNEX 31

Only 29 percent of those surveyed were aware that Tesla makes electric vehicles. However, this was a higher percentage than any other brand.


A new survey by German-based Dalia Research* asked consumers around the world about their transportation habits, with a special focus on their attitudes toward electric vehicles. Some of the results are a bit surprising, but the main impression is not: the general public is still confused about how electric vehicles (EVs) work, what models are available, etc. Automakers have a tremendous amount of work to do educating the public about EVs.

*This article comes to us courtesy of Evannex (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

There have been a number of surveys of this kind, but almost all have focused on top EV markets such as the US, Norway, the Netherlands and China. The Dalia survey covers 52 countries, including the ones where EVs are common sights, some where they are just beginning to appear (Australia, Mexico, India) and others where there are presumably few or no EVs at all (Algeria, Colombia, Kenya).

Dalia asked a representative sample of adults (ages 14-65) questions about how they drive: the lengths of their typical commutes (Israelis say they have the longest, at 97 minutes, while the Japanese have the shortest, at 39 minutes); their reasons for driving instead of taking public transport (it’s more comfortable, and faster); and what they hate most about transportation (surprise, surprise – wasting time in traffic).

Among respondents who plan to buy a car in the next 5 years, an impressive 40% said they are likely to buy an all-electric model. Unfortunately, the summary of Dalia’s study didn’t break this figure down by country, but it is either extremely promising or extremely puzzling when you consider that a substantial number of the respondents live in countries where there are currently few or no EVs available for sale.

Source: Dalia Research*

Dalia’s research reveals striking differences in the way people in different parts of the world use their automobiles, and what they look for when they buy new ones. Some of the results are about what you’d expect: the countries where people care the least about “reducing dependence on fossil fuels” are in the oil-rich Middle East; and places where people prefer to drive their own cars because of “privacy” or safety issues seem to be countries with relatively high crime rates.

Source: Dalia Research*

The majority of study participants see environmental benefits as the main reason to buy an EV. “They pollute less,” and “They reduce reliance on fossil fuels” were the top two reasons chosen. Taken at face value, this doesn’t bode well for future EV sales.  Various studies have found that the environment tends to be a minor factor for car buyers, and this one is no exception: only 19% of respondents cited “environmental concerns” as an important factor in buying a car. Perhaps the real lesson here is that automakers need to educate the public about the many benefits of going electric.

Source: Dalia Research*

The general public also seems to have little understanding of how charging works. For example, when people were asked about the disadvantages of EVs, the first one cited (50%) is, “There are not enough charging stations,” while the fourth (36%) is, “They take too long to charge.” As other studies have indicated, many people don’t understand that EVs are meant to be charged at home overnight – they still think of a car as something that has to be taken to a fueling station.

Source: Dalia Research*

On the other hand, some of the concerns about EVs are perfectly valid: 44% said, “They are too expensive,” and 26% said, “I wouldn’t be able to charge at home (no garage/driveway).”

Here’s something else that Tesla owners will laugh at, but again, it is surely just a matter of educating the public. Among the disadvantages of an EV, 16% of respondents said “They are not as fast” as legacy gas vehicles, while among the advantages, “They are fun to drive,” was in last place, chosen by only 8% of respondents.

When it comes to EV brand awareness, Tesla appears to be miles ahead of the pack. When asked which brands offered all-electric cars, 29% of Dalia’s respondents named Tesla. This is perhaps not surprising, but it is certainly interesting in light of the fact that Tesla does no traditional advertising for its vehicles whatsoever.

Source: Dalia Research*

The rest of the findings in the brand awareness section are a bit suspect. Toyota, which does not sell any pure EVs (except in a few limited pilots) came in second at 22%, and Honda, another EV-free brand, was fourth, at 13% (both companies used to sell California compliance cars, but these have been discontinued). Strangely, Nissan, the maker of the world’s top-selling pure EV, was not listed by Dalia at all. It’s hard to know what conclusion to draw from this puzzling bit of data, but one likely explanation is that most car buyers still do not understand the differences among hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure EVs – many are probably thinking of Toyota’s popular Prius as an electric vehicle.


*Source: Dalia Research

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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31 Comments on "Survey Finds That People Are Aware Of Tesla, Yet Many Are Still Uneducated About EVs"

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Wait! Tesla is an EV? 🙂

Tesla is a US carmaker? 🙂

Or… Tesla…who makes that?

It’s amazing to me that, with all that Chevy has accomplished from an engineering and even sales standpoint, that they are low on brand awareness.

Marketing opportunities lost I suppose.

This is global survey…

Chevy isn’t a global brand as far as global “awareness” is concerned.

One of the biggest advantage of EV not listed here: charging at home, thus not wasting time going to fueling stations. Unfortunately, this is hard to understand if not experienced in person. It’s like asking color blind person to describe why grey, not black, is the best color of them all. 🙂

If you’re going to ask a question like “Is an EV fun to drive”, you should first ask “Have you driven an EV”.



This !! It’s like when someone says they don’t like to eat a certain food. Then when you ask them they’ll admit they’ve never tasted it. So how the hell would you know if you dislike it.

Yeah that one strikes me as funny too, even my 2015 VW e-Golf is more fun for me to drive than gas cars, let alone the Tesla Model X


“Survey Finds That People Are Aware Of Tesla, Yet Many Are Still Uneducated About EVs”

This should surprise no one. For example, I’ve heard of Lady Gaga, I know she’s a singer, but I certainly can’t name any song she has recorded.

This isn’t anything to worry about. It’s hardly a surprise that most people are not well educated about EVs, as they have captured less than 2% of the market. People will become more educated about EVs as they become more commonplace.

Not even “Bad Romance”?

“Poker Face”?

Things like he following convince that the Tesla Genie is completely out of the bottle…and can’t be put back in.

It’s because when gear-heads become enamored of Tesla, I think that is another indication of a sea change.

First couple is just him explaining his messy garage, but then he gets into the Tesla he built from 4 cars. Interesting views of things behind the curtain.

I’ve driven/rode in many EVs including Tesla, I’ve also been in many modified ICE vehicles at the drag strip or autocross…

While a Tesla when floored, feels futuristic and does get my heart rate going, I get a bigger grin going down the quarter mile in a noisy forced induction V8 (Z06, Hellcat, GT500 )…

I did own a Volt, they claim the 0-30 is the same as a V6 Camaro, I regularly get a ride and sometimes drive a friends 5 year old SS Camaro (V8), I like driving the SS more than the Volt…

NASCAR would probably die overnight if they switched to quiet EVs…

NASCAR is struggling for viewers today. And they only race gas guzzlers, how could that be?

I feel exactly the opposite…I’m way more excited to hear the soft smooth sound of electric than a loud piston cracking crapout engine noise.

Why is Nissan absent from EV Brand Awareness question?

“many are probably thinking of Toyota’s popular Prius as an electric vehicle.” Probably because it is the ‘EV’ in ‘HEV’ is a giveaway, as is the electric motor (or is that motors now?). Only on EV enthusiast forums like this one, packed with members of the “only a BEV is an EV” church, is a Prius HEV not considered an EV. It makes as little sense to deny the Prius is an EV as it does to deny that PHEVs (or FCEVs) are, which many here do.

The prius is a gas hybrid…GAS hibrid!….unless you have the plug in version which is a PHEV. My second car is a Lexus ES 300h and I consider it a regular gas car…because that’s what it is.

Why yes, it is, a gas HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle). The determining factor of an EV is whether or not it is propelled, wholly or in part by one or more electric motors (or is a MagLev), not where or how the electricity is made or stored.

Erk. That should be “Probably because it is. The ‘EV'” etc.

Manufacturers call things like the Prius, a Hybrid Electric Vehicle, because they put a mixed power drive train it it, but drivers only fuel it with gas, not electricity, hence, for drivers, it really is just an efficient gas car!

ICE manufacturers are not going to educate consumers on EVs. Their business plan is to sell ICE ICE BABY

Here is how the conversation goes with all my coworkers and friends every single time. “Your car is electric?” Yes, i have a Leaf. “Oh that’s cool. My neighbor, parents, friend has an electric car” Me, a little surprised. Really? What do they have? “Oh, they have a Prius!” Me- umm a Prius is a really good gas car. It gets 50mpg but can barely go a mile on electricity alone if you keep it under 50 mph. ” Well thats the same as your Leaf, right?” Me-no, my car is fully electric and doesn’t have an engine or gas tank. “But how far can you go?” Me- about 100 miles or 75 miles if im pulling my jetskies. Them ” Thats not very far!” Me-lets go for a ride. After ride- “Your car is really quick and quiet too! I bet it’s really good on gas.” Me- did you not listen to anything i said for the last 15 minutes? Them- Yeah but i mean eventually you have to put gas in it, right? I mean how else would that work? You’d have to plug it in everyday? Me-YES!!!! Just like ypur iphone. Them- ohhh. That sounds like a… Read more »

LOLOL Stupid ain’t going away any time soon.

Wow omg. Unbelievable…

Perhaps I’m exposing prejudice(s), but I’d have to ask (1) Where do you live, and (2) What line of work are you in? :-\

If you think of EVs like the i-MiEV, Zoe or E-Golf, which can drive 130, 140 and 150 km/h, while 160-180 km/h ist the prefered Autobahn speed in Germany, you can get the argument about slower speed of EVs.

Teslas 250 are kind of ok for the segment, 280 consistantly would ne nice. But that is Germany speed-decadency…

280kmph are you serious? Normally I drive around 140kmph on the Autobahn. That is no decadency. You just like to pollute the environment even more…

I’m not sure if those result charts are blurry enough, LOL.