Even as automakers are developing ever-more-capable EVs, and network operators are steadily rolling out new charging infrastructure, the average consumer has little more interest in electrified vehicles than two years ago.
That’s the inescapable conclusion of a recent Harris Poll, which was conducted this May and repeated the questions of a poll from two years earlier.
Just under half (48%) of likely US car buyers say they would consider a hybrid – exactly the same proportion as in 2013. Interest in plug-in hybrids (29%) and and pure electric vehicles (21%) each gained a mere two percentage points in those two years.
Sales figures tell a similar story. According to Harris, 2015 sales numbers to date show electrified vehicles (hybrids, PHEVs and EVs) with about 3% of total US vehicle sales – the same as in 2012.
Unsurprisingly, the top objection to going electric is cost.
Harris’s full list of buyer concerns:
- Price (67%)
- Range (64%)
- Repair/maintenance costs (58%)
- Reliability (53%)
- Performance (50%)
- Worry about new technology (42%)
The good news is that, while high purchase prices are a very real issue, range anxiety should fade as a new generation of 200-mile EVs comes on the scene, and the other four bugaboos are strictly imaginary, and could be done away with if automakers did a better job of educating the public about their products.
The even better news is that the younger generation is more comfortable with plugging in: 57% of Millennials said they’d consider an electrified vehicle, versus 43% of Baby Boomers and 38% of “mature” buyers.