While many Americans have interest in electric vehicles, only four in 10 think that most vehicles will be electric by 2029, according to a new study by AAA.
AAA believes that a lack of knowledge and experience may be contributing to the slow adoption of electric vehicles despite Americans’ desire to go green.
“Today, more than 200,000 electric cars can be found on roads across the country as almost every manufacturer sells them,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s Director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “But, like other new vehicle technologies, Americans don’t have the full story and that could be causing the gap between interest and action.”
AAA’s annual survey that tracks opinions regarding electric and hybrid vehicles found that while consumer interest remains steady, Americans may not have a solid understanding of electric vehicle performance, which may be giving consumers pause when it comes to considering electric for their next purchase. For instance, electric vehicles, unlike those running on gas, do better in stop and go traffic because the car can recapture energy to charge the battery when decelerating. However, AAA’s survey found that a majority of Americans (59 percent) were unsure of whether electric vehicles have better range when driving at highways speeds or in stop and go traffic. This demonstrates that many consumers are not sure what to expect from an electric vehicle in two of the most common driving scenarios.
Although most Americans don’t believe electric vehicles will be on the road in masses in the next 10 years, the AAA survey revealed that 40 million Americans would be likely to consider an electric vehicle for their next car purchase, with Millennials leading the pack. Concern for the environment and lower long-term costs remain the leading reasons to switch to electric.
“These vehicles are a big part of the future of transportation since self-driving cars, when they do arrive, will likely be electric,” said Brannon. “The difference, of course, is that electric vehicles are already here and with the advancements in style and range that have been made over the last few years, they have become an even more viable option for many Americans.”
Each year AAA (Automobile Club of Southern California Automotive Research Center) produces its Green Car Guide, which rates electric vehicles as well as hybrids and highly fuel efficient cars based on criteria such as ride quality, safety and performance.