Survey: Consumer Interest in Plug-In Vehicles Declining

By · October 31, 2012

Prius plug in

Pike Research's latest annual survey of US consumer demand, preferences, and price sensitivity for plug-in vehicles and electric vehicle charging equipment discovered a slight decline in the fundamental interest in plug-in vehicles between 2011 and 2012.

According to Pike Research, the percentage of survey respondents who identified themselves as "extremely" or "very" interested in purchasing a plug-in vehicle fell from 40 percent in 2011—to 36 percent in 2012. The Internet-based survey of 1,001 US residents, which was conducted this fall, asked consumers questions that were identical to those posed by Pike Research in 2010 and 2011.

Pike Research graph

The latest survey conducted by Pike Research indicates that consumer interest in plug-in vehicles is on the decline.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Consumers often cite insufficient range as a primary reason for their lack of interest in plug-in vehicles.
  • Interest in plug-in vehicles did not differ significantly by age, gender, income or level of education.
  • Early adopters of the latest types of technology were roughly twice as likely to show interest in plug-ins than the average consumer.
  • Familiarity with specific plug-in vehicles varied, ranging from 25 percent to 54 percent, with consumers being most familiar with the Chevrolet Volt

Pike Research also received feedback that one-third of respondents did not agree that plug-in vehicles are much cheaper to own than gasoline vehicles. Also, more than one-third of respondents believe that plug-in vehicle batteries are dangerous and 40 percent of respondents stated that plug-ins often strand their owners when battery power is depleted.

These survey results obviously reveal that consumers aren't well educated about plug-in vehicles, underscoring the need of the EV industry to do a better job of informing the general public.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.