AAA conducted a survey of 1,004 Americans in February to find out how they feel about electric vehicles. The results show that 15% are considering an electric car when they buy their next car. AAA says that translates into 30 million people — one seventh of the US car buying population. “With their lower ownership costs and compatibility with emerging autonomous technologies, electric vehicles are poised to be a key vehicle of the future,” says Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering.
What AAA finds significant about the poll results is that interest in electric cars remains fairly strong despite relatively low gas prices. AAA conducts the survey every year and finds the level of interest is about the same as it was five years ago when gas prices were considerably higher.
The survey showed interest among millennials was somewhat higher than the average. 18% of people in that age bracket told the pollsters they would consider an electric car next time around. Concern for the environment, lower long term costs, desire for the latest technology, and access to car pool lanes are all factors that contribute to the interest in electric vehicles.
The survey also showed that nearly one third of potential car buyers would consider a hybrid or plug-in hybrid car. The fear of running out of battery power while away from home is the biggest factor people mention when talking about why they would not consider an all electric car.
Demonstrating the schizophrenia the American public has about big government and CAFE regulations, 70 percent of car buyers say they consider fuel economy to be an important thing to weigh when selecting a new car. Other factors that are high on their priority list are safety technology, brand recognition, styling, and smartphone connectivity.
The AAA survey makes a liar out of Ford CEO Mark Fields, who continues to insist that nobody wants to buy electric cars. Pssst. Hey, Mark. 15% of car buyers says they would consider buying an electric car. That’s the same percentage as those who told AAA they would consider buying a pickup truck.
Having pigheaded leaders like Fields in charge of one of America’s leading car companies is one reason why the electric car revolution continues to lag behind expectations in America. Mark, here’s a thought. How about showing some leadership skills to go along with that fancy salary of yours?