Even in green California, plug-in vehicle sales still represent only 3 percent of the new vehicle market. However, with 20 models now available, and a new generation of vehicles in the pipeline, the potential for growth is huge.
A new survey released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Consumers Union offers encouraging news: More than half of California drivers are likely to consider an EV for their next purchase or lease, and more than 65 percent are “interested” in electric vehicles.
The survey also found that 44 percent of California households could use an EV with little or no change to their driving habits.
The survey, conducted among 1,213 randomly selected adults in California and nine Northeastern states, pointed to some ways that automakers could increase sales. 65 percent of Californians want to see more electric options across a variety of classes, including sedans, SUVs and minivans. The availability of vehicles for test drives is critical – 86 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t buy a new vehicle without test-driving it first.
Automakers and state officials need to do a better job of letting drivers know about available incentives. 75 percent of California drivers didn’t know about the state’s plug-in purchase incentives, and almost 80 percent weren’t aware of the federal EV tax credit.
“California’s blend of car culture, technology incubation, and environmental consciousness create potential for huge growth in EV sales,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Policy Counsel for Consumers Union. “There’s a real market opportunity for automakers to offer electric vehicles to the millions of California consumers who are ready to go electric.”
“Many California consumers who might be looking for a new car this summer are primed and ready to purchase an electric vehicle,” said Don Anair, Research and Deputy Director for the UCS Clean Vehicles Program. “These survey results should be encouraging news to automakers who are offering EVs or set to bring new vehicle models to market.”
Source: Union of Concerned Scientists