What JD Power Has Found Out About EV Consumer Experience

JD Pow­er & Asso­ciates has released its first con­sumer study on elec­tric vehi­cles. It was con­duct­ed in Octo­ber and sur­veyed more than 7,600 con­sumers who either own an EV, are con­sid­er­ing buy­ing one, or shopped for one but decid­ed not to buy. Here are a few of the key find­ings:

• For ear­ly adopters buy­ing bat­tery elec­tric and plug-in hybrid elec­tric vehi­cles, the top rea­son was low­er­ing emis­sions and they were will­ing pay a pre­mi­um to do it.

• Future buy­ers are more prag­mat­ic than ide­al­is­tic. Of these respon­dents, 11% would con­sid­er buy­ing one for envi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits, while 45% are inter­est­ed in sav­ing mon­ey on fuel. For those who’ve gone shop­ping but decid­ed not to buy an EV, their pri­ma­ry rea­son was the price.

• The tech­nol­o­gy needs to be improved to reduce the over­all cost of the vehi­cle, said Neal Odd­es, senior direc­tor of the green prac­tice at J.D. Pow­er. It’s a huge task for automak­ers but once they do it, EVs will go mass mar­ket, he said. As for now, they only account for 1% of the mar­ket in US new vehi­cle sales.

• Cur­rent own­ers said recharg­ing their vehi­cles’ bat­ter­ies increased their month­ly elec­tric bills by $18, much less than the esti­mat­ed $147 they would have paid for gaso­line dur­ing that same peri­od.

Vehi­cle size is anoth­er fac­tor block­ing EV sales. Most con­sumers con­sid­er­ing it are look­ing for mid­size sedans, and most of the EV on the mar­ket now are small­er.

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