Survey: 1 in 9 Americans would consider buying an EV

Source: By Jason Plautz, Utility Dive • Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019

The YouGov results show a larger potential market than currently exists. Only about 1% of cars on the road are electric, although consumers have shown more interest and automakers have responded by putting more resources into electric models and charging infrastructure. Other surveys have shown more enthusiasm for electric cars; a McKinsey&Company survey in December found that half of potential buyers would consider an electric vehicle, although many were turned off by the high cost.

Automakers have increasingly pushed their full electric vehicles; General Motors made waves this fall when it announced plans to cut 15% of its workforce and discontinue five passenger models in a move to “prioritize future vehicle investments in its next-generation battery-electric architectures.” Volvo plans to add an all electric version of each model by 2019 and have 50% of sales be electric by 2025.

The surge also comes as more public policy is promoting EVs; last week, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order establishing a Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) program to promote EV use in the state. Nine states have followed California’s lead in setting up a ZEV mandate as well, helping to create a stronger market for the cars.

The YouGov survey also looked at the increase in sales of sport utility vehicles, which continue a decade-long uptick in sales along with crossover utility vehicles (CUVs). The survey confirms automakers’ belief that a large part of the market for larger cars is baby boomers and young Generation Xers who are starting a family. Although automakers have worked to make utility vehicles more efficient, their continued sales climb could impact national progress towards fuel efficiency, even as interest in EVs grows.

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