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

About the Author

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.
  • ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    It doesn’t matter what they say. Decreased battery cost is the key, and as long as that happens word-of-mouth and feel-of-ride will gradually grow the market. Plug-ins aren’t hybrids.

  • Will Helbich

    The battery range and life will always be a concern until these vehicles with their best technology have at least 10 years good track record. Unfortunately battery chemistries are constantly evolving because of problems with the present designs. Find me a 10 year old electric hybrid or plug-in with a solid track record and customer satisfaction and then you have a winner that will be embraced by the masses.

  • Electric cars have a price that is triple of what they should cost. An all electric car here in Europe costs around €35,000. For that amount you get a small car comparable to a small gasoline car that would cost you €10,000, and its real range will not be much more than 100 km. Here in Belgium there are very few charging points. So who would be foolish enough to buy one? Especially if you consider that after some five years you will have to replace the batteries, which will cost you the price of another small gasoline car. Not surprisingly car brands here rent out the battery pack instead of selling it.
    It is true that most people only drive short distance daily, but they don’t want to need a second car for longer distances, like I drive a 150 km far once a month for a family visit. The day I can buy my compressed air car for €7000, it will be both cheap, green and longlasting. You can see it on I think this is a much better option than a plug in EV. I don’t trust batteries and I don’t want to spend a fortune on a car.

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