Survey: 40 Percent of Households Could Use EVs

Charging-leaf

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit group intent on "solving the planet's most pressing problems," less than 1 percent of U.S. motorists drive electric vehicles, despite that 65 percent think EVs are an important part of our transportation future. Long commutes, range anxiety and just plain habit are preventing most people from investigating whether an electric vehicle would work for their family. Apparently, however, there are fewer hurdles than most people think.

A new UCS survey reports that an EV would fit the lifestyles of 4 out of 10 households, requiring little change in driving habits. The organization randomly surveyed 1,004 adults about their driving and parking routines and found that 42 percent of car owners met the basic criteria for daily use of a plug-in hybrid EV, like the Chevrolet Volt. Half of those households could comfortably own a traditional EV, like the Nissan Leaf

The survey used the following criteria for the suitability of a plug-in hybrid: having access to parking and an outlet at home and work, not needing to carry more than four occupants in the car and not needing to haul or tow anything. For EV suitability, the survey criteria expanded to include a maximum weekday driving range of 60 miles and access to another vehicle if typical weekend driving exceeds that.

So what's preventing 42 percent of U.S. households from jumping on the EV bandwagon? The UCS cites cost as an issue, though prices of EVs are going down and government tax incentives help ease the sticker shock, though getting the credit can be tricky. To the USC, however, the cost of not adopting widespread EV usage is high. According to the organization, if everyone who could switch to driving on electricity did so today, the nation would:

  • Save 15 billion gallons of gasoline each year, more than all the gasoline consumed last year by the entire state of California.
  • Avoid 89 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, equivalent to removing 14 million of today's gasoline cars from the road a year.
  • Save $33 billion on fuel each year — based on gas prices of $3.60 per gallon and electricity costs of 12 cents per kilowatt hour.

So, why do you think drivers are reluctant to kick the gas habit? Tell us below.

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Comments 

Nate

Because I like my mid 90s jap sports cars. I am a young adult who spends his time at a racetrack. yes your EV gets great mileage, but I like being that guy thats laughing at them when I drive by and still get 27 mpg with my twin turbo v6 that weighs 3800 pounds with AWD and AWS. Only EV i would drive would be a tesla roadster and that new 918 spyder that porsche is making. Dont have the money for that.

I still believe that EV's are the future of the car industry. It will hoever take time to convert the majority of people but it will happen. Maybe we will see a big shift towards EV's in the next 10-15 years.

jim

When I can get 120 mile range and all wheel drive I am there.

Aaron

Jim,

That would be the Tesla Model X, which is about to release.

In the meantime, the Toyota RAV4 EV might fit your bill. It will over over 120 miles, and while only front wheel drive, it is an SUV, so may meet your needs in that department.

Nate,

Electric cars keep up with most sports cars just fine. Just recently I dusted some teen punk in a late model Z... silently. Electric cars are not slow, and are a blast to drive.

I have both a RAV4 EV and a Focus EV. Once you go electric, you can't go back. Explosion propelled cars are so primitive feeling.

Joe

I live in an apartment. Good luck convincing my landlord to install electrical outlets for all assigned parking spaces! Also note that each outlet will have to be sourced from the circuit breaker panel of the apartment it is associated with.

Range anxiety is also a big worry. Suppose I'm stuck in a traffic jam (not uncommon). If I'm in an EV and continue to run the heat or A/C while stopped (or crawling along) in traffic, I probably won't get to my destination.

Highdesertcat

I believe that EVs should be available for anyone who wants to buy one, but they should not be subsidized by the taxpaying people who don't want them.

I do not want an EV although I could probably use one for short runs. And I will never want one because I like the unlimited range and flexibility of ICE cars.

You can't travel very far in any EV and you never will.

EVs are an attempt by the ultra liberal far left Democrat green weenies to reduce our use of oil. They will not succeed.

Oil is the best energy source on the planet and we have o much of it that it still bubbles up out of the ground in places.

Sales and use of EVs are such a small percentage of the overall sales of automobiles that they are negligible, a statistical anomaly, and written off as a rounding error.

If 40% of households could use EVs, why haven't they switched? Because they don't want to suffer range anxiety!

Another failed attempt to get people to buy EVs. These scientists should be more obsessed with the pollution created in Asia than try to pull the wool over the eyes of American car buyers.

What a crock!

Futurist

You're no different than the folks who said horses would never be replaced by automobiles, and the folks who were sure the earth is flat. An owner of a Tesla Model S achieved a world record of over 400 miles on a single charge. So get with it and get hip to what's happening.


P9

"You're no different..."

Oh look it's an elitist 1%er hipster telling us to 'get with it'. Run back to your bath house in San Francisco before someone knocks you up the side of the head with a piston.

meh

The day that I can get 300 miles from a charge and can recharge in 5 minutes at stations placed throughout the US is the day I get an EV.

The range and perception that the EV's are little "toys" on the road are going to change in the near future. The sticking point in the EV evolution is power storage, specifically storage and the weight of the batteries. With Elon Musk and others on the cutting edge of technology, I think we will have vehicles powered by electricity peforming exactly the same as their gas powered equivalents. Range per charge is the single most important consideration when I speak to clients about otaining a green or EV car loan. The most important thing to remember is that most Americans do not need to go more than 300 miles in a regular work day. I write blog posts for my site and have one that has to do with getting a loan for green/EV cars, just click my name, above.

EVDriver

Regarding Federal 'subsidies' maybe we should cut the subsidies that go to the oil companies to pay for the income tax credit individuals receive for the purchase of an EV. millions of dollars a year are provided to Shell/Exxon/BP by the US gov't and yet they make billions in profits and pay limited income tax as a result of 'losses'. Suck it big oil.

CutCO2

People refuse EV because :-
1) They don't believe that climate change is the problem that we all have a part in escalating it!
2) Even if they do believe that we need to cut burning the fossil fuel, they do not want to adjust their convenient life style of driving to places whenever they like. Driving an economic/traditional EV like Leaf at this point needs a good trip planning, until we have more convenient public EV chargers as much as gas stations, which could happen sooner, if each and every one that could use EV start to drive one.
3) Politic/personal interest in supporting big oil consumption.

Futurist

Not to mention the misinformation being spread by geniuses who say there's unlimited oil bubbling out of the ground.

Futurist too

Futurist, I agree with you 100%. I have been driving my Prius for 10 years and have saved literally thousands of $$ on gas. I would buy an EV in a second. Idiots who waste their money on gas destroying the Earth as fast as they can and not caring...wow. Wait until you have kids and you may actually care about human beings having a future. When does this get to become a political issue anyway? Don't we all have to live on this planet? And that moron who said they will never succeed on lessening our dependence on oil, and that it's bubbling out of the ground endlessly? GET an education! Have some vision. How short sighted can a person be? GRRRR

Thanks for sharing. Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEV) is most important at this time because petrol and diesel prices hike very rapidly day by day. Relative CO2 emissions from transport have risen rapidly in recent years from 21% of the total in 1990 to 28% in 2004, but currently there are no standards for limits on CO2 emissions from vehicles. Some electric vehicle comes in affordable price and electric vehicle is a great way to wean you off gasoline and reduce your carbon footprint.

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