Indiana University Study Shows Low Consumer Interest in Plug-In Vehicles
U.S. Consumers show little to no interest in pure electric vehicles, according to a study conducted by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
However, the study shows that there's more potential interest for plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and Ford C-Max Energi.
Researchers claim the study "casts doubt on the Obama administration's goal of putting a million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015." According to the study, "The perceived drawbacks of electric vehicles outweigh the advantages for most consumers." These drawbacks, which include high price tags, limited range and long recharging times, have convinced most U.S. consumers that electric vehicles don't meet their needs.
As Brad Berman, PluginCars.com contributor, said in his coverage of the survey for The New York Times, "Mainstream car shoppers are simultaneously ignorant and apathetic about plug-in electric vehicles."
“The results of the study raise this question: If respondents know so little about electric cars, what are they basing their answers on — except preconceived notions about EVs not necessarily based on facts?
“We found substantial factual misunderstandings of electric cars in our sample of 2,000," said John Graham [the designer of the study]. "In some cases, the misunderstandings would cause one to be more pessimistic about the vehicle than they should be. And in other cases, it would cause people to be more optimistic than they should be."”
The researchers surveyed more than 2,300 adult drivers in 21 US cities in fall 2011. The authors believe that little has changed in consumer awareness and interest since the time of the study.
"You can imagine a world where a third or half of two-thirds of people would be interested in buying an electric vehicle," said Dr. Graham. "But there has to be a substantial redefinition of perceptions among the urban population. That’s not easy to accomplish.”
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