Consumers Show Little Interest in Electric Cars, Study Says


  • 2013 Chevrolet Volt Picture

    2013 Chevrolet Volt Picture

    A new study found that there is better market potential for plug-in hybrid vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt. | December 27, 2012

Just the Facts:
  • Consumers show little interest in pure electric cars, according to a new study from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, but the market potential is better for plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and Ford C-Max Energi.
  • Researchers said the study "casts doubt on the Obama administration's goal of putting a million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015."
  • Drivers in some cities, such as San Jose, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston are more open to pure electric vehicles than others.

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — Consumers show little interest in pure electric cars, according to a new study from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, but the market potential is better for plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and Ford C-Max Energi.

Researchers said the study "casts doubt on the Obama administration's goal of putting a million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015."

"The perceived drawbacks of electric vehicles outweigh the advantages for most consumers," the study said.

Researchers found that "consumers are somewhat more interested in buying hybrid-electric vehicles, with a gasoline-powered backup engine, than electric-only vehicles. This suggests there may be better market potential for hybrids like the Chevy Volt, Toyota Plug-in Prius and Ford C-Max Energi."

Drivers in some cities, such as San Jose, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston, are more open to pure electric vehicles than others. Consumers in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Detroit and Nashville show the least interest in electric cars.

The researchers surveyed more than 2,300 adult drivers in 21 large U.S. cities in the fall of 2011.

Edmunds says: As quickly as battery technology is advancing, pure electric vehicles still present too many compromises for the average consumer in terms of range and cost.

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