New Data Shows Consumer Interest in Electric Vehicles Is Growing

interest is in direct correlation to availability and Design

New Data Shows Consumer Interest in Electric Vehicles Is Growing
Image: NCCC
September 20, 2016

Consumer interest in purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) has increased in the past year, and the interest is greatest among young adults, according to the Consumer Federation of America's second annual survey on EVs.

Consumer Federation of America (CFA) also found that the number of EV choices on the market is increasing, while electric vehicle prices are becoming competitive with gas-powered vehicles.

Overall, sales of EVs have significantly outpaced the sales of hybrids in their first years on the market. Currently, 2016 sales of EVs are on track to outpace 2015.

Interest is in direct correlation to availability and design, according to CFA Director of Public Affairs Jack Gillis.

For a second straight year, the CFA commissioned ORC International to conduct a national survey on consumer attitudes toward EVs. A representative sample of 1,007 adult Americans was surveyed by cell phone and landline in late August. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.

The survey revealed growing interest in purchasing an electric vehicle, rising from 31 percent in 2015 to 36 percent in 2016. Among different age groups, young adults (18-34) are most interested, with a full 50 percent saying they would consider buying an electric vehicle.

The more consumers know about EVs, the greater their interest in purchasing one. Among survey respondents who consider themselves very knowledgeable about electric vehicles, 55 percent are interested in buying an EV. Among those who say they have no knowledge of EVs, only 22 percent are interested in buying one.

The survey also asked consumers, "The next time you buy or lease a car, would you consider an electric vehicle if it costs the same as a gas-powered car, has lower operating and maintenance costs, has a 200 mile range between charges, and can recharge in less than an hour?"

In response to this question, 57 percent said they would be interested in purchasing this EV. For those who say they know a lot about EVs, the figure was 62 percent. And for young adults, the figure was 70 percent.

"As the younger buyers enter the market, more attractive EVs are made available, and consumers learn more about these vehicles, interest in purchasing them is likely to grow significantly," said CFA's Gillis.