AAA’s new survey shows that consumer interest in electric vehicles remains steady. The number who say they plan to buy an EV the next time they’re in the market for a new or used vehicle is unchanged from 2018 with 40 million Americans (16 percent) saying they’d consider an EV for their next car purchase. Only 40 percent believe that most vehicles will be electric by the year 2029.
AAA’s annual survey tracks opinions regarding electric and hybrid vehicles. AAA believes that a lack of knowledge and experience may be contributing to the slow adoption of electric vehicles despite Americans’ desire to go green.
The AAA Survey shows that Millennials and Generation X are more likely to consider buying an EV than Baby Boomers (23 percent and 17 percent, vs. 8 percent). Concern for the environment and lower long-term costs remain the leading reasons to go green (74 percent and 56 percent respectively).
More than 22,000 electric vehicles are registered in Oregon and the state hopes to have 50,000 registered by the end of 2020, according to Go Electric Oregon. Nationwide, sales of electric vehicles increased 81 percent in 2018, with 361,307 EVs sold last year compared to 199,826 sold in 2017, according to Inside EVs.
Previous objections to buying electric with regards to price and range anxiety continue to ease and have trended downward significantly:
- Concern that there are not enough places to charge – down 11 percent from 2017
- Concern about running out of charge when driving – down 11 percent from 2017
- Higher cost of battery repair or replacement – down 8 percent from 2017
- Higher purchase price – down 6 percent from 2017
While consumer interest in EVs remains steady, Americans may not have a solid understanding of EV performance, which may give shoppers pause when it comes to considering an electric vehicle for their next purchase. For instance, electric vehicles, unlike those running on gas, do better in stop and go traffic because the car can recapture energy to charge the battery when decelerating. However, AAA’s survey found that a majority of Americans (59 percent) were unsure of whether electric vehicles have better range when driving at highways speeds or in stop and go traffic. This demonstrates that many consumers are not sure what to expect from an electric vehicle in two of the most common driving scenarios.
“Electric vehicles can be a great choice for many drivers,” said Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “AAA recommends that consumers learn as much as possible about EVs. Do research online, talk with friends who own EVs, and visit a few dealers and take some EVs on test drives. It’s also important to understand the charging options that are available at your home.”
Each year, AAA produces its Green Car Guide, naming the best fuel-efficient vehicles. The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center conducts extensive and thorough testing of high fuel efficiency, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles each year, and assigns ratings based on criteria important to buyers such as ride quality, safety and performance.