The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a new report, “Consumer Views on Plug-in Electric Vehicles-National Benchmark Report,” that finds, among other things, approximately 24% of consumers plan to buy a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) as their next purchase.
The report, posted here, interviewed 1,015 households on their sentiments toward plug-in hybrids and EVs. In terms of plug-in vehicle awareness, the study found the following:
- 48% of respondents could name a specific plug-in vehicle make and model;
- 49% have reported seeing a plug-in vehicle in parking lots;
- 52% have stated that plug-in hybrids are just as good or better than conventional gasoline vehicles;
- 45% stated pure EVs are just as good or better than conventional gasoline vehicles;
- 24% said they would consider or expect to purchase or lease a plug-in hybrid as their next vehicle; and
- 20% said they would consider or expect to purchase or lease a pure EV as their next vehicle.
With regard to pure EVs, consumers responded in the following ways:
- 56% of respondents said a pure EV would need at least 300 miles of driving range on a single charge for them to consider buying one;
- 55% said they would not consider a pure EV because it is too expensive;
- 70% of respondents plan to pay $30,000 or less on their next vehicle, and 42% plan to spend $20,000 or less;
- 53% of respondents regularly park near home electrical outlets;
- 51% of respondents would be willing to pay incremental costs for pure EVs; and
- 18% are aware of charging stations on routes they regularly drive.
Although the NREL study suggests that many consumers remain wary of pure EVs, Tesla Motors recently took over 325,000 reservations for its upcoming Model 3, a $35,000 EV with at least 215 miles of driving range per charge. GM’s Chevrolet Bolt EV has also generated a lot of consumer interest, although the automaker is not taking reservations for it just yet.