A new consumer survey conducted by MINI USA reveals various shifts in American consumers’ sentiment toward electric vehicles over the last three years.
The survey, which repeated the same set of questions used in a 2019 questionnaire carried out by MINI USA, indicates that more Americans – and particularly younger and female consumers – view electric vehicles as a primary car in the household more than any other use case. This represents a shift from 2019 where more respondents selected “commuting car” and “city car” as preferred uses.
Commissioned by Engine’s CARAVAN, the survey further explores consumers‘ level of knowledge about the EV infrastructure in their regions, as well as personal attitudes toward EV ownership and travel needs.
A point that has remained consistent from both surveys is daily travel distance, as 76% of respondents say that 75 miles of battery range is sufficient for everyday driving. Only a 3% increase over the course of three years, consumers’ daily driving distances continue to remain well below the current range of all new electric vehicles on the market today.
While vehicle usage has remained consistent, expectations for faster charging times rose over the last three years. This not only signals an improved perception of available charging technology and its progression over recent years, but an increasing expectation that greater improvements in charging is necessary for rapid EV adoption. More than two-thirds (67%) of consumers now believe charging should take no more than an hour, an increase from 59% three years ago.
Conversely, education on certain key topics has seen minor change over the period for many consumers, particularly regarding the advancement and mainstreaming of EV technology.
- About 63% of all respondents in 2022 still consider EV owners to be early adopters, which is only 3% lower over the last three years. While this pioneering connotation may sound complimentary to some, it highlights a need for more mainstream awareness of the accessibility, daily usage, and convenience of electric vehicles today.
- Greater visibility for charging stations is needed, though some progress has been made. About 35% of consumers now know where their nearest EV charging port is located, a slight improvement from 26% in 2019.
“Over the last three years electric vehicles have become more mainstream, making great strides in both technological advancements and in consumer perception,” said Andrew Cutler, Head of Communications, MINI USA. “As MINI is moving to become fully electric by 2030, it is important that we and other EV brands with skin in the game continue to demonstrate that EVs are more accessible and satisfying to drive for everyone.”
Another point requiring stronger evangelization is the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit most EV buyers would receive upon purchasing their new vehicle. Strong progress has been made among college graduates (particularly in high-income households), with 50% or more now considering the credit as an important purchasing factor. This attitude falls steeply, though, among consumers with little to no college education or who live in lower-income households, where the tax credit could proportionately be more beneficial.