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Electric Vehicles Interest Nearly 60% of Car Buyers

Enprecis Mobility Panel finds high self-reported interest in electric vehicles, but questionable understanding of their practical realities.

The latest Enprecis Mobility Panel reached nearly 2000 consumers in 12 hours and found a public eager for electric vehicles. Following up on our green vehicle survey, the electric vehicle panel results suggested that consumers are enamored with the idea of electric, but may not have a deep understanding of the practical elements involved with owning electric vehicles.

Interest in buying electric vehicles is high:

• nearly 50% of respondents plan to purchase or lease a vehicle within the next two years

• 60% of these respondents would consider an electric vehicle

These figures are strikingly high, but may indicate an over-exuberant demographic base of young people (36% of respondents were in the 16-24 age group), or a population ready to start buying cars again after two years of a major economic slowdown.

Electric vehicles may be appealing because they use new technology, but most consumers plan to use them as their primary vehicles, and for relatively mundane driving purposes, such as:

• commuting up to 50 miles

• local errands within 15-20 miles

Home would be the primary place to park and charge an electric vehicle, though about 20% of respondents are uncertain about where they could charge an EV.

The respondents' expectation to own and use electric vehicles much as they would use gasoline-powered vehicles suggests that EVs are not necessarily seen as a revolution in car ownership, but more as just another type of car to drive. This perception does not take into account the need to charge electric vehicles or the limited driving range associated with electric vehicles, suggesting that consumers are slightly naive about the realities of electric vehicles.

In gathering data about electric vehicles, the Enprecis Mobility Panel also assessed consumer opinion regarding the impact of the recent earthquake in Japan on the country’s automotive industry. Most respondents expected a long-term slowdown in automobile production in Japan, with 30% anticipating that this would give non-Japanese automakers an industry advantage.

Enprecis Mobility Panels represent an exciting way to quickly gather customer opinion on current issues, and analyze that data alongside detailed demographic information. Enprecis will continue to run additional panels on hot industry topics and refine mobile surveys as a platform for market research. Download the complete electric vehicle survey data for further analysis.

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