Many US Consumers Are Still Unaware of Plug-In Electric Vehicle Operating and Purchase Economics

Policy and economics play a large role in PEV adoption, but educating consumers outside the typical early adoption category can improve the perceptions of these vehicles

Jun 25, 2019

A new report from Navigant Research analyzes survey responses of more than 2,300 US consumers on vehicle preferences, perceptions and knowledge of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), attitudes of current PEV owners, and potential barriers to PEV adoption.

From 2017 to 2018, US PEV sales increased 80% thanks to continuous improvements in vehicle and charging technology. While strong growth is expected to continue this year, increasing consumer knowledge of PEV technologies and incentives remains a core market challenge. Click to tweet: According to a new report from Navigant Research, many consumers are still unaware of or misinformed on the operating and purchase economics of PEVs.

“PEV growth is not equally distributed across the US but rather largely centered in urban areas and states with PEV purchase or zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) incentives,” says Raquel Soat, research analyst with Navigant Research. “These pockets indicate that policy and economics play a large role in the adoption of PEVs, and that educating consumers who are outside the typical early adoption category can improve the perceptions of PEVs and decrease the amount of misinformation in the market.”

Historically, PEV consumers have been wealthy, young, and highly educated, however, survey results indicate that may be changing. Those most likely to adopt a PEV as their next vehicle purchase largely reside in the in the Southeast, Northeast, and Pacific regions of the US, which is consistent with the geographic distribution of PEV owners. However, the Southeast region saw the highest number of consumers likely to adopt a PEV—a region where few states have state-level PEV purchase incentives or ZEV mandates. This finding indicates a market that is interested in new technology but may need supportive PEV policies and consumer education strategies to increase adoption.

The report, EV Consumer Profiles, analyzes Navigant Research’s 2018 general population EV consumer profile survey that assessed consumer vehicle preferences, perceptions and knowledge of PEVs, attitudes of current PEV owners, and potential barriers to PEV adoption. The survey collected more than 2,300 respondents and identified more than 100 PEV owners. Navigant Research also identified consumers that are likely to adopt a PEV as their next vehicle purchase. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

Contact:

Lindsay Funicello-Paul

+1.781.270.8456

lindsay.funicello.paul@navigant.com

*The information contained in this press release concerning the report, EV Consumer Profiles, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.