Range Anxiety, Technology Doubts Are Still Stifling the EV Market

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by Navigant Research, plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) OEMs appear to be lacking in terms of addressing and overcoming potential buyers' ‘misperceptions’ about these vehicles.

Navigant Research explains that the volume of PEVs has grown significantly in the past year, with many OEMs adding new models to their offerings. The PEV market is expected to grow swiftly, with a compound annual growth rate of 30% between 2012 and 2020 in the U.S. However, auto makers are still facing significant challenges.

‘So-called range anxiety continues to be the number-one reason cited by consumers who are not interested in purchasing PEVs,’ says Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. ‘A number of other negative perceptions continue to persist, however, helping to explain why overall consumer interest in PEVs has declined since 2011.’

Among common misperceptions identified in the survey is the belief that PEVs are not more economical than gasoline vehicles. When asked if PEVs are cheaper to own in the long run than gasoline vehicles, 37% of respondents disagreed. Additionally, 37% believe PEV batteries are dangerous. Even those respondents who expressed interest in PEVs showed signs of concern, as more than one third believes that current PEV owners are often stranded as a result of their vehicles running out of power.

In 2012, 35% of respondents stated that they would be extremely or very interested in
purchasing an EV with a range of 40 to 100 miles and an electricity cost equivalent to $0.75 per gallon. In Navigant Research's 2011 installment of the survey, 40% stated they were extremely interested or very interested.

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