May 3, 2020

Despite Tesla And The Model 3, Consumer Perception Of Electric Cars Hasn’t ‘Budged’ Since 1997 And GM EV1, Says Report

Despite Tesla And The Model 3, Consumer Perception Of Electric Cars Hasn’t ‘Budged’ Since 1997 And GM EV1, Says Report


You would think with all the noise about Tesla that the average American’s take on the electric car would have changed.

But the basic sentiment hasn’t shifted since 1997, according to the J.D. Power 2020 Q1 Mobility Confidence Index.

Longstanding barriers: charging, range, and price

The availability of charging stations, driving range, and price are still the top 3 barriers to electric vehicles as perceived by American and Canadian consumers, the April report said, which is based on a SurveyMonkey sampling.

In fact, things haven’t changed since 1997, when the General Motors EV1, the progenitor of the mass-market electric car, was launched, the report said.

The report continued. “Vehicle technology and infrastructure availability have progressed dramatically in 23 years, but consumers have not budged in their perception.”

And these barriers also apply to those who have owned an EV previously, the report said.

Tesla owners are still a tiny minority

Though not covered in the report, Tesla owners and fans are still a tiny minority of the American car-buying public, despite the high profile of the electric carmaker and CEO Elon Musk.

And owners of EVs like the Chevy Volt, Chevy Bolt, and Nissan Leaf are an even tinier minority in the U.S.

If you need proof, look no further than your nearest highway, which, in 2020, is almost all gas cars. Ditto on car dealerships.

More EV reality checks in the report

“Few consumers have any experience with battery-electric vehicles,” the report said, adding that “the majority (70%) of American respondents have never been in a battery-electric vehicle, and 30% say they know nothing about them.”



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