Price Tags North of $25,000 Limiting Electric Vehicle Sales, Study Says | Edmunds

Price Tags North of $25,000 Limiting Electric Vehicle Sales, Study Says

Just the Facts:
  • Consumers are turned off by price tags higher than $25,000 on electric vehicles, a new study has found.
  • Navigant Research polled 1,084 consumers for its Electric Vehicle Survey.
  • Nearly half of the consumers were familiar with the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.

BOULDER, Colorado — Consulting firm Navigant Research's Electric Vehicle Survey determined that the biggest barriers to electric vehicle sales are the expensive price tags and a lack of consumer familiarity with the products.

The Web-based survey polled 1,084 consumers in the U.S. and estimates that sales of EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will reach 30,195 and 59,106 by the end of the year, respectively. It speculates that annual sales will increase to 130,641 for EVs and 210,772 for plug-ins by the end of the decade.

Although the firm says that alternative fuel vehicles receive very favorable ratings, around 70 percent of respondents were not inclined to spend more than $25,000 on their green vehicle after incentives. This price limitation rules out most EVs and plug-in hybrids. The 2013 Nissan Leaf S, with a $6,400 price drop for 2013 and a $7,500 tax credit, barely makes the cut at $22,150 including the delivery fee.

The survey found that 43 percent anticipated spending less than $20,000 after incentives, which will be a problem for automakers until they can significantly cut the cost of the expensive battery packs in these vehicles.

Navigant continued that nearly half of consumers are familiar with the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, while less than 25 percent knew of the Tesla Model S, Ford C-Max Energi and BMW i3.

Another interesting finding: 41 percent of those surveyed had interest in public charging stations, while only 16 percent were willing to pay more than $2 for a 15-minute charge at these locations.

This study comes on the heels of another survey that revealed most consumers are ignorant about the state and local subsidies, rebates and other incentives available for plug-in electric vehicles.

Edmunds says: It's evident that an educational marketing effort might be necessary for electric vehicles to gain further ground in the U.S.

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