According to ZPryme, 37.2% of respondents said they are very (8.5 percent) or somewhat (28.7 percent) likely to purchase an electric car in the next two years. Of the remaining somewhat or very unlikely respondents, 25.8 percent said they were somewhat likely to buy an EV in the next five years.
Further the survey found that the Chevy Volt (53.1%), Ford Focus BEV (49.1%), and Nissan LEAF (30.8 percent) hold the top three spots in terms of EV model awareness, while brand preferences were led by Ford (17.8%), Toyota (16.7%), Chevrolet (16.0%), Honda(12.6%) and Nissan (7.1%).
While there were no strong differences in how receptive people in different geographical quadrants were to electric cars, the western states were the most welcoming, with 40.1 percent of respondents categorizing themselves as likely to buy an EV. The south and northeast U.S. came in next at 37.3 and 37 percent, respectively, with the midwest coming in lowest at 35.3 percent.
The study has also revealed a correlation between those people who have adapted to using smartphone technology and potential first EV consumers.
According to the findings, potential EV drivers over the next two years were more inclined to be involved in online activities, use technology to enhance their driving experience, and use a smartphone. In fact, among this group, 20.5 per cent owned an iPhone. Additionally, being able to use all of their smartphone apps in the EV would have a positive influence on an EV purchase for 52.9 per cent of respondents.
It is not just that smartphone users tend to be tech-savvy and early adopters of new technology but that their smartphones themselves will help them in using electric cars and should prove highly useful in adapting to electric cars.
The study figures giving this industry legs are that annual U.S. EV/PHEV unit sales are projected to swell by 36.2 percent annually from 2011 to 2016, from 43,400 to 203,200. Further down the production line in 2016, the total EV/PHEV stock is projected to reach 730,700). By 2016, that charging station market value is projected to reach $3.95 billion in 2016.
Among the other EV consumer survey findings:
• Being able to use all of their smartphone apps in the EV would have a positive influence on an EV purchase for 52.9% of respondents.
• Respondents were asked to pick the top two reasons that would convince them to buy an electric car. Their number one factor was car price (64.5%).
• Potential EV drivers in the next two years were more inclined to be involved in online activities, use technology to enhance their driving experience, and use a smartphone. In fact, among this group, 20.5% owned an iPhone.
• When purchasing a car, over two-thirds (68.5%) use information from the internet, followed (in order) by: dealerships (44.8%), Kelly Blue Book (40.3%), and Consumer Reports (35.1%).
• Usage of an EV as a primary car would more often be the choice of 77.7% of the people, while 22.3% said an EV would become a secondary car.
• Four-fifths (83.7%) said they would rather buy than lease (16.3%) an EV.
• Less than half (40.6%) reported they would be willing to pay a premium to rent an electric car.
Other key findings disclosed in the report, which was sponsored by Airbiquity, include:
• Rental car companies will play a major role in promoting EVs.
• Smartphone apps could help find charging locations
• Smart grid technology will anticipate peak charging and take measures to prevent overload.
• Charging corridors are currently being identified
• The role of home charging will evolve and clarify in time.
The market for charging infrastructure is expected to grow from $746 million next year to $3.9 billion in 2016.
ZPryme predicts EV adoption to be driven by three core groups of EV consumers; ‘EV Evangelists’ will make up the majority of EV drivers, ‘EV Brand Loyalists’ will enter the market in 2 – 3 years and ‘EV Sideliners’ (the ‘wait and see’ group) will purchase an EV in 4 – 5 years.
In its 71-page report on the results of the survey, ZPryme not surprisingly suggests that “Consumer education is at the heart of EV adoption.”