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Many Gas-Powered Car Owners Would Consider Switch

Dec 29, 2021

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® released a new report providing a snapshot of current U.S. consumer sentiment around electric vehicles (EVs), showing a sizable portion of gasoline-powered vehicle owners are open to considering a hybrid, plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) or battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV) for their next purchase. 39% of non-EV owners report they are likely/very likely to consider an EV for their next vehicle, and 33% (one third) are likely/very likely to consider a PHEV.

The study also found that 92% of current EV owners report being likely/very likely to purchase one as their next vehicle – demonstrating the value consumers find in their electric automobiles. Similarly, 76% of EV owners say their next vehicle purchase is likely/very likely to be a PHEV.

Executive Summary: Electric Vehicle Landscape and Consumer Sentiment Research

“Electric vehicle owners will be returning customers primarily because of the superior value and performance they experience from the purchase,” said Prabhat Agarwal, Sr. Director of Research and Trends at CTA. “As electric vehicle technology becomes more affordable and available, trends indicate drivers will increasingly take advantage of the cost savings and efficiency that EVs offer. Our research demonstrates that consumers find enormous value in the EV experience, so manufacturers should find more opportunities to get non-owners behind the wheel to see the benefits for themselves.”

Increased EV knowledge key to courting consumers:

The report highlights current barriers in consumer product knowledge that the EV industry can address to increase their share of the automobile market. Automakers are defining electric cars as Hybrids, PHEVs, and BEVs – definitions that do not align with consumer perceptions. 78% of non-EV owners and 82% of EV owners define an EV as being powered only by an electric motor or any vehicle that needs to be plugged in to charge. Simplifying these definitions will help familiarize consumers with their options.

Lower consumer costs spur EV owner loyalty:

The top features most liked by EV owners primarily revolved around cost-saving. Not having to pay for gasoline was the most liked aspect of EV ownership with, 34% of EV owners mentioning this followed by less maintenance (30%) and lower cost to charge with electricity (30%).

CTA collaborated with Aspen Finn — an independent market research firm — to conduct secondary research and develop a quantitative survey instrument to dive deep into consumer sentiment and perceptions with specific lines of questioning around how consumers define EVs, consumers’ awareness of EVs, knowledge of EVs and consumer attitudes toward EVs. A total of 2200 general population of U.S. adult consumers (N=2000 non-EV/plug-in hybrid [PHEV] owners) were sampled with an additional oversample among those who currently own an EV (n=200) to ensure a readable base size.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra will unveil the new electric Silverado at this year’s in-person CES 2022 in Las Vegas. The show will also feature auto tech leaders including Daimler AG, Hyundai Motor Company, Bridgestone, Valeo, Waymo and VinFast among others. The automotive exhibitions at CES 2022 are tracking for record growth, with 200+ companies committed – a 12% increase from 2020. Registration information is available here.

Consumer Technology Association:

As North America’s largest technology trade association, CTA® is the tech sector. Our members are the world’s leading innovators – from startups to global brands – helping support more than 18 million American jobs. CTA owns and produces CES® – the most influential tech event in the world. Find us at CTA.tech. Follow us @CTAtech.