Survey Says Interest In Plug-In Cars Dropping

Sales of pure electric vehicles haven’t taken off like some companies have hoped, and it is affecting potential customers as well. A recent study from Pike Research indicates that interest in plug-in vehicles has suffered a 10% decline in just a single year. Why? The usual suspects…cost and a lack of sufficient range.

The Pike Research study found that in 2011, 40% of survey respondents answered that they either “extremely interested” or “very interested” in plug-in vehicles. This year the same study found that interest had dropped to just 36% of respondents, a 10% decrease in interest in electric and plug-in vehicles. The reasons cited for lack of interested was high cost, limited range (despite other studies that say most drivers don’t need more range), and a lack of value.

But there are bigger problems, including a lot of misinformation and lack of knowledge about EVs. About one-third of respondents do not think that EVs save money versus regular gasoline cars, and 40% of respondents thought that the battery systems were dangerous. 40% of respondents also felt that EVs regularly left their drivers stranded, which is far from true.

Ironically, the most familiar plug-in vehicle to respondents was the Chevy Volt, which was at the center of a faux-scandal last year over a battery bursting into flames 3 weeks after a crash test. Coincidence? I think not.

While hardly good news for the EV industry, the fact that over one-third of respondents are still quite interested in plug-in vehicles is pretty good news considering the wave of negativity surrounding plug-in vehicles in the past year. But maybe more education and outreach is in order?

Source: Plug-In Cars


Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.