A new survey conducted by Consumer Reports (CR) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) shows that 63% of prospective car buyers in America have some interest in electric vehicles (EVs).
Breaking this down, 31% would consider one for their next purchase, 27% would consider one at some point down the road and 5% say they are definitely planning on buying or leasing one for their next vehicle. UCS points out that this 5% number would mark a noticeable escalation in EV purchases in the U.S., which made up about 2% of new car purchases in 2018.
“Automakers and dealers have made little to no effort to market electric cars in the U.S., and yet this survey shows that Americans have widespread interest in them,” says Shannon Baker-Branstetter, manager of cars and energy policy for CR. “Car buyers across the economic spectrum are interested in electric cars, but automakers and dealers are not providing consumers with enough information and selection to meet this demand.”
In terms of income, according to the survey, 39% of potential buyers making more than $100,000/year are considering an EV for their next purchase – but so are 39% of those making $50,000-$99,999/year, in addition to 31% making under $50,000/year.
The survey says interest in EVs is also strong among people of color: 42% are considering an EV for their next purchase, compared to 36% for all respondents.
“As the electric vehicle market grows, more drivers see an electric vehicle as a realistic option,” says David Reichmuth, senior engineer for UCS’ Clean Vehicles Program. “The future is electric, and that will have real benefits for drivers, for the air we breathe and for the climate. But we need to accelerate this change, so consumers need states, utilities and automakers to step up and help them make the switch.”
Other survey highlights include as follows:
- 72% say automakers should provide more kinds of EVs, including SUVs, pickup trucks and minivans.
- 73% say increased EV use will help reduce oil use.
- 72% say increased EV use will help reduce pollution.
- 65% say electric cars will help consumers save money on fuel and maintenance.
According to the survey, policies that would grow the EV market and help consumers drive electric also draw strong support:
- Around 75% feel that incentives and tax rebates for plug-in EVs should be available to all consumers in every region and income bracket surveyed.
- 67% say electric utilities should offer discount rates for plug-in EV charging.
- 67% are supportive of their state’s investing in EV charging stations.
- 64% are supportive of their state’s increasing the use of plug-in electric school buses, public transit and fleets.
The nationally representative survey had a sample of 1,659 American adults who are considering purchasing or leasing a new or used vehicle within the next two years.