Electric vehicles make sense in terms of practicality: their cost of ownership and environmental advantages. But once you become one, everything changes.
The results of JD Power’s U.S. EV Considerations study suggest that many U.S. consumers still need to simply ride in an EV.
Only 11 percent of those without first-hand experience with electric vehicles said they were “very likely” to consider an EV, the company found in research released Thursday. For those who were only EV passengers, the “probable” rate doubled to 24 percent; for those who had driven an EV, it rose to 34 percent.
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Automakers still haven’t effectively advertised electric vehicles to all potential buyers. Nearly one-third of those who rejected EVs simply said there was a lack of information about EVs, Power noted.
Across the entire survey, the percentage of shoppers who were “likely” rose to 24% from 20% a year ago.
The study is based on 10,300 responses from consumers between February 2022 and April 2022 and “by geography; demographics; vehicle experience and usage; lifestyle; and psychology.”
Automakers also have potential progress in attracting mass-market shoppers. JD Power found that 37% of high-end car owners said they were “very likely” to consider an electric vehicle for their next car, compared with 21% of those who currently own a mass-market model.
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But the study did note that owners of mass-market vehicles showed “increased interest in electric vehicles” compared to a year ago. A number of affordable future models have been released, such as the $30,000 Chevrolet Equinox EV and the $29,900 Fisker Pear City EV.
Charging remains a significant hurdle. Of those who said they were less likely to consider an electric vehicle, 34 percent lacked access to home or work charging, the company noted. Likewise – and certainly related – 27% of homeowners are “very likely” to consider an electric vehicle, compared to just 17% of renters. Fortunately, some select cities like Seattle are implementing innovative curbside tolling solutions that may help bring shoppers closer.
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Electric vehicle sales were strongest in California, where Power confirmed that EV consideration remains strongest in the West, with 31 percent of people in the region saying they are “very likely” to consider an EV. The company noted that the South is higher than the Northeast (26% to 22%), which may represent Tesla’s advantage in these states, while worrying less about range for people in warmer climates.
Surprisingly, the company also noted that, “Like heavy commuters, heavy road travelers are more likely to buy an electric vehicle than people who don’t use their vehicles very often.” Those who spend a lot of time commuting may not only notice to electric cars on the highway, and see how obvious the advantages are.