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41 Percent of Auto Owners Would Consider Hybrid/Electric Vehicles: Report

Forty-one percent of owners of gas-powered vehicles said they are very or somewhat likely to consider an all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle the next time they purchase a car, according to a report by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC).

The SECC’s Electric Vehicles: Driving the Customer Experience report also found that current electric vehicle owners are overwhelmingly satisfied with their cars and are very interested in smart home devices and energy efficiency.

The majority, 51 percent, of electric vehicle owners are overwhelmingly what the report called “tech-savvy proteges.” That group’s ownership of smart appliances is double that of the general population, 34 percent compared with 14 percent, and they are four times more likely to own a home energy management system, at 16 percent compared with 4 percent. And, at 88 percent and 75 percent, respectively, electric vehicle owners are also much more likely to own their own home and to live in a single-family dwelling.

“These findings speak volumes about the ease of installing charging equipment at home and the necessity for programs that expand ownership among renters and multi-family dwellers,” the authors said in the report.

The report also found that environmental benefits, concern for future generations, and social responsibility were stronger motivators among electric vehicle owners than among the general population.

The report drew on data gathered from a survey of 1,000 residential energy consumers in the United States during mid-November 2021 and augmented with an additional 750 respondents who currently own an electric vehicles.

The report also looked at the sources consumers use to research electric vehicles. Most consumers, 36 percent use the Internet to gather information about electric vehicles, followed by vehicle manufacturers, 23 percent; friend and /family, 17 percent; dealers and automobile magazines, 14 percent; and websites, 13 percent.

However, the report also found that as few as 4 percent of consumers are likely to contact their electricity providers when conducting electric vehicle research. That might not hinder the purchase of an electric vehicle, but it could “result in costly surprises or delays if electrical upgrades are necessary to support the type of home charging the customer wants or needs,” the report said.

Nonetheless, the survey results showed that 97 percent of consumers felt that their electricity provider would be a reliable source of information on electric vehicles. “The research demonstrates that electricity providers have a key role to play in educating consumers about electric vehicles,” the authors said.