March 26, 2021

Americans are almost ready to buy electric vehicles

Author:
Sadia Corey, VP, Client Development
Savanta reports that 28% of consumers who plan to buy a vehicle in the next two years plan to buy a hybrid-electric car.

Most Americans are still driving gasoline-powered cars, but Americans are quickly warming to electric vehicles' benefits and recognize Tesla as the leader in this space.


American attitudes about electric vehicles are evolving, but most of us still prefer to buy gasoline-powered cars. According to a new poll from Savanta, 80% of consumers purchased a new car in the past five years, and 70% of those vehicles were gasoline-powered. 9% of Americans bought a hybrid-electric vehicle, 5% a battery-electric vehicle, and 3% a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.

However, Americans are warming up to the lure of electric vehicles. Savanta reports that 28% of consumers who plan to buy a vehicle in the next two years plan to buy a hybrid-electric car, 27% plan to buy a battery-electric car, and 25% plan to buy a plug-in hybrid-electric car. The majority of Americans (55%) still plan to purchase a gasoline-powered vehicle in the next two years.

Americans are shifting to buying electric vehicles for various reasons, mainly to save cost on fuel (41%). Other reasons include contributing to a safe environment (38%), feeling that electric cars are the future of transportation (35%), feeling that electric vehicles are quieter (35%), feeling that they are cheaper to maintain (29%), and taking advantage of tax credits (29%).

Americans see some good and bad with owning an electric vehicle

Savanta data reports that consumers have many positive views about electric vehicles. 72% of them feel that they are quieter than gas-powered vehicles. 67% feel they are safe and reduce ecological damage, and 61% feel they are the future of transportation. 41% of consumers believe that electric vehicles will improve their driving experience, and 42% of consumers think they are less expensive over the long run.

Consumers also have reservations about electric vehicles. 58% of the consumers feel electric vehicles do not offer the charging infrastructure for long trips, 57% of the consumers think electric vehicles are expensive to own, and 56% of the consumers feel electric vehicle’s batteries lose the capacity or longevity in the long run.

With such conflicting views on electric cars’ value, it’s no surprise that 58% of the consumers are likely to consider buying an electric vehicle soon, and 42% of the consumers are not yet ready.

Consumers who are considering purchasing an electric car hope to save money on fuel (52%), think they are the future of transportation (44%), and think they are safe for the environment and reduce ecological damage (43%).

Consumers who are not considering buying an electric car shortly fear the charging infrastructure is not sufficiently developed (40%), believe electric vehicles are not reliable for long-distance traveling (38%) and think there are no charging stations near them (35%).

Everyone knows Tesla

According to Savanta, consumers view Tesla as the most innovative brand in battery-electric or plug-in electric vehicles. 52% of the consumers consider Tesla the most innovative brand, with Chevrolet (9%), Ford (8%), and BMW( 7%) trailing behind considerably.

Americans prefer Tesla, Tesla, and more Tesla when it comes to electric vehicles’ make and model. 34% would consider buying the Tesla Model 3, 29% the Tesla Model S, and 24% the Tesla Model Y.

For plug-in battery-electric cars, 20% of the consumers will consider buying Toyota Prius Prime, 16% the Chevrolet VOLT, and 16% the BMW 530e xDrive.

Should the government play a role in pushing Americans toward electric vehicles?

Government policy can help our climate crisis, support American workers, and ensure national competitiveness in critical areas of economic growth, decarbonization, and technological innovation.

Most Americans agree that it’s time for the government to step in. 60% of Americans feel the government should encourage Americans to purchase electric vehicles by offering tax credits when buying a new electric car. 55% think the government should provide tax breaks for electric vehicle manufacturers, 52% of the consumers believe the government should offer industry subsidies to electric vehicle manufacturers, and 51% of the consumers think the government should provide direct government investment in electric vehicle manufacturing facilities.

Regardless, with or without support from the government, the future certainly looks brighter for electric vehicles in the US


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