Electric Vehicles fanboi-1

Published on January 26th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan

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Electric Cars That Most Excite Potential Electric Car Buyers

January 26th, 2016 by  
 

In our 4th article pulled from Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want — a new report from CleanTechnica, EV Obsession, and GAS2 — I’m jumping into which electric car models respondents were most likely to buy and most excited, as well as some implications regarding certain car companies.

Without surprise, current EV ownership matched historical EV sales fairly well — 33.9% had the Nissan LEAF, 21.4% the Tesla Model S, 16% the Chevy Volt, 6.5% the BMW i3, and then much smaller percentages had numerous other electric cars.

Importantly, I think this indicates that the EV-driver respondents are quite representative of the broader EV consumer market, which bodes well for making broad generalizations from this report.

top electric cars

More interesting than the cars people currently have (which we already basically know anyway) were the electric cars people intended to buy and were most excited about. Naturally, these results weren’t a huge surprise either, as there are just a few very exciting electric models publicly planned for market in the coming few years, but it was interesting to see how the preferences were split. Breaking out results for each model, here are the 7 hottest electric vehicles:

Model 3

39% owners expect to buy next
55% of potential owners expect to buy
53% owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
56% of potential owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV

Model X

12% owners expect to buy next
17% of potential owners expect to buy
13% owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
15% of potential owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV

Model S

10% owners expect to buy next
20% of potential owners plan to buy

Chevy Volt (1.0 + 2.0)

7% owners expect to buy next
23% of potential owners expect to buy
5% owners more excited about Volt 2.0 than any other new/coming EV
5% of potential owners more excited about Volt 2.0 than any other new/coming EV

Chevy Bolt

6% owners expect to buy next
17% of potential owners expect to buy
8% owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
4% of potential owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV

Nissan LEAF (1st-Gen)

6% owners expect to buy next
8% of potential owners plan to buy

Long-Range Nissan

5% owners expect to buy next
33% of potential owners expect to buy
10% owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV
6% of potential owners more excited about this than any other new/coming EV

There are a few other long-range and competitively affordable electric cars tentatively planned for market, but their release dates are less certain, which likely caused them to rank lower.

However, another reason they don’t have as much buyer interest or enthusiasm may be due to Nissan, GM, and Tesla benefiting from “first-mover advantage.” The Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, and Tesla Model S were the first genuinely mass-market electric vehicles in the United States. Many more of them have been sold than any other electric car models. Both early adopters and EV enthusiasts eager to join the EV movement seem to trust these companies and want to reward them for their leadership in this sector.

Potential EV Drivers

most likely to buy electric cars

 

most excited ev drivers copy

Current EV Drivers

1 most likely to buy electric cars

most excited non owners

Tesla clearly stands out, even far above Nissan and GM, in consumer interest. I had a little fun with a couple of questions about the electric car company, and the results were impressive: 54.2% of EV owners/lessees self-identified as fanbois/fangurls (typically derogatory terms), and 28.6% said they were “perhaps” fanbois/fangurls. Interestingly, almost the exact same percentages came out of non-owner/lessee responses — 54.5% and 29.10%.

fanboi 1 fanboi 2

It’s unspecified why respondents were so enthusiastic about Tesla and its products, but there are several likely reasons. One is that Tesla is 100% focused on fully electric vehicles. Not only does it not produce fossil-fuel-gulping cars; it even stays away from fossil-fuel-sipping plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles. This, by itself, must endear it to EV enthusiasts.

The company, mostly via well known CEO and product architect Elon Musk, is passionate about combating climate change, air pollution, and oil dependency. This is important to many people, and we like Tesla more for its passion on this front.

Tesla has also demonstrated the ability and desire to produce extremely high-performance and innovative vehicles. The Tesla Model S has broken many auto industry records and turned the general concept of electric cars on its head. Additionally, Tesla is the only company with a super-fast charging network in place, a topic I’ll come back to later in the report.

Tesla has long held plans to release a long-range and affordable electric car. It is widely assumed that Tesla’s batteries come at a lower cost per kilowatt-hour than any other EV batteries on the market. Making that assumption, when Tesla does bring a mid-market car to production, many potential buyers believe they will be able to get “more car for the money” from Tesla than from any other automaker.

Given the reviews of the Tesla Model S and Model X, as well as Tesla’s Supercharger network, many EV enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting a Tesla model they can affordably get their hands on. Even those who have bought or plan to buy a higher-cost Model S or Model X are enthusiastic because the Model 3 will presumably bring long-range, fully electric transportation to millions of people — if all goes as planned. That would mark a huge step forward for the electric vehicle movement.

You can download the full “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want” report here.

Report sponsors include Cost of SolarPlugless, the Low Voltage Vehicle Electrification Event, and Pono Home.


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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Frank

    Watching Elon Musk is kind of like watching Lionel Messi play soccer. The daring, the touch, the vision on the field, and then seeing them attempt what others don’t even see, produce the seemingly impossible.

    I also love listening to him talk. He seems to pull his confidence/power from being thoughtful, and right, and seems to not lean on CEO, or billionaire at all, which I totally admire.

    Enough about Elon. What about the model S. Who makes a more compelling electric car? Outselling everybody in the premium large car market in the US, including ICE three years after making their first car? Doesn’t this kind of sound like dribbling past 5 guys, and burying the ball?

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