Consumers Are Coming Around on Electric VehiclesBy: Sean Patterson - November 19, 2013
As prices drop and technologies improve, electric vehicles are now set to become a mainstay on U.S. roads and even in the U.S. military. Though adoption rates for the technology are clearly on the way up, manufacturers will still have to convince Americans that electric vehicles are cost effective, safe, and reliable.
Market research firm Navigant Research today released a survey report showing that American opinions on alternative-fuel vehicles are steadily improving. The firm found that around 67% of those surveyed now view hybrid vehicles favorably and that 61% now view plug-in electric vehicles favorably. Natural gas vehicles were also found to be viewed favorably by around 56% of those surveyed.
The survey also found that consumers looking for alternative-fuel vehicles are most concerned about saving money. Fuel efficiency was a top concern for potential buyers, followed by other factors such as performance and the size of such vehicles.
Though the industry has obviously hit a tipping point, Navigant also found that manufacturers will have to work hard to build awareness for their brands. The survey found that less than half (44%) of respondents knew of the Chevrolet Volt. Awareness for other brands was even lower, with less than 33% having knowledge of the Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, and BMW i3.
“Two-thirds of consumers surveyed stated that they believe EVs have unique features that stand out from their gasoline counterparts, and 6 out of 10 agreed that EVs are much less expensive to own in the long run than gasoline cars,” said Dave Hurst, principal research analyst at Navigant. “While those are encouraging numbers, it’s clear that automakers still have a long way to go in marketing these vehicles to the wider car-buying public.”
(Image courtesy Tesla Motors)