Cars.com Survey: Most Buyers Still Wary of Electric Vehicles

Earth Day may have come and gone, but mass market electric vehicles are on the horizon. What do potential Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt buyers think about electric vehicles? We surveyed more than 1,000 men and women and asked them about their concerns regarding EVs.

What would prevent on-the-fence buyers from taking the EV plunge? Fifty-four percent were most concerned with range anxiety in all-electric vehicles such as the Leaf, and 43% said they drive too far to even consider a Leaf or other EVs with a 100-mile range.

They also have high expectations on how long these vehicles should take to charge: 41% said it should take less than two hours. The Leaf is expected to take eight hours on an advanced 220-volt outlet.

According to Nissan, demand for the Leaf is already outpacing the automaker’s likely early supply. How is that possible if our survey showed a vast majority of consumers unlikely to consider them? These vehicles will be produced at niche vehicle levels, meaning just a small group of consumers will make them successful.

This survey was conducted online by Impulse Research on behalf of Cars.com with a random sample of 1,030 men and women, 18 and older.  The sample has been carefully selected to closely match U.S. population demographics, and the respondents are representative of American men and women ages 18 and older.  The overall sampling error rate for this survey is +/-3 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.

Comments 

Skinner

Many cities in the South lost power this weekend, some neighborhoods are still without power. If you had to evacuate in your purely electric car, how would you do it if your battery was already low?

Zerf

I could see the anxiety with the leaf but with the Volt it does not make as much sense to me.

I suspect the discrepancy between your survey and what Nissan is reporting is you random sampled people. Nissan is talking about orders, these are people who saw the product and pursued it themselves to get one. I would also give the Nissan numbers more credibility when the cars are actually sold and paid for. I would love to say I am going to be in line to buy a Volt but realistically it is not something we can afford right now, same for the Leaf.

Dan

Skinner-
How would you evacuate in your gasoline powered car if your tank was already low? The pumps at the gas station run off electricity.

Besides, you should evacuate BEFORE the storm and the power outage, not after.

J

Skinner and I must not have the same spidey-sense as Dan to predict our power outages, especially as they don't always happen as result of a storm. Most of us probably have enough fuel in our tank to make it to the next station still with their lights on, whereas Dan may be hitchhiking with an extension cord in his hand.

Belly

Buy a generator.

JJJR

At this time I see the all electric vehicle as a second car for local use. I would hardly consider one if I needed to evacuate an area, who could wait hours for the darn thing to charge?

Ziggy

Most people don't live in areas where you have to "evacuate". Electric vehicles are practical daily commuters and as our infrastructure and technology develops you will see the day were it can also be something you can drive across your state or country. You guys sound like the people that said the automobile will never replace the horse and buggy.

Zerf,
WE point out exactly what you're saying in the post above. Our sample was of general buyers while most early Leaf adopters will be niche buyers. We also point out we're only talking about purely electrics in the survey, just that the Volt is part of the wave of next gen vehicles.

Mike

I always thought that EV cars should come with a solar panel roof to avoid emergencies and give the car a longer range. I'm no expert on solar technology, but it sounds like it would be a good idea.

GSK

Mike
It is not feasible unless each car can get a tennis court size roof or larger. The energy density of solar energy is not high enough to propel the car even if there be 100% efficiency photovoltaic solar cells. Even just few hudred pounds satelites use huge solar pannels.

GSK

Dan

J-
So let me get this straight, you're worried that that you'd take your EV for a long drive so that when you get home the battery is completely dry. Then, just as you happen to pull in, before you have any time to charge it, a storm or other random outage knocks out power to your house. This storm or random outage is so severe that you can't live in your house any longer and have to immediately evacuate the area, but somehow the storm was also targeted enough that the roads aren't blocked, and the gas station doesn't lose power. And in this situation, you're lucky enough that no one else in your city is low on fuel either, so there is still plenty of supply of fuel at the gas station when you arrive. And all of this happens completely without warning?

Okay, yeah, in that situation having an EV would be bad.

I'm a little confused. According to the project rolling out the charging stations, you'll be able to charge in minutes at a charging station and just 4-6 hours at home or in a parking space. http://theevproject.com/education.php#

Rob

I love reading comment discussions

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